Supreme Court: Having legal-resident parents doesn't prevent deportation of adult children

Article date: 
Monday, May 21, 2012
Article category: 
National Issues
Article Body: 

The Supreme Court decided unanimously today that the immigration status of parents can't help their adult-aged, illegal-alien children convicted of a crime. In the case Holder v. Martinez, the Court overturned a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled that Carlos Martinez Gutierrez, who had been ordered deported, couldn't use his father's status as a lawful permanent resident to stay in the country.

Pres. Obama appointee, Justice Elena Kagan wrote the unanimous decision. She wrote:

The board has required each alien seeking cancellation of removal to satisfy §1229b(a)'s requirements on his own, without counting a parent's years of continuous residence or LPR status. That position prevails if it is a reasonable construction of the statute, whether or not it is the only possible interpretation or even the one a court might think best. We think the BIA's view on imputation meets that standard, and so need not decide if the statute permits any other construction.

Carlos Martinez Gutierrez was caught smuggling illegal aliens across the border and was ordered deported.

The Supreme Court combined the Gutierrez case with another case in handing down its decision. Damien Antonio Sawyers was convicted on a drug offense and ordered deported despite being given legal status seven years prior to his arrest. His mother had legally entered the U.S. six years before he did.

To read the Supreme Courts full decision, click here.