Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: March 23, 2020
  • Case #: 18-776
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, KAGAN, GORSUCH, and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ALITO, J., joined as to all but Part II–A–1.
  • Full Text Opinion

An appellate court may review a question of equitable tolling under the Limited Review Provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act as undisputed or established facts present a question of law.

Petitioners are aliens who were removed from the United States after committing drug crimes. Petitioners both sought to have their removal proceedings reopened after the 90-day window in 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7)(C)(i) had closed. Petitioners had become eligible for discretionary relief based on various Board of Immigration Appeals decisions and argued that the time should be equitably tolled. The United States Court of Appeals denied Petitioner’s requests for review stating that it lacked jurisdiction under the Limited Review Provision, 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D), because it presented a factual question. The United States Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit improperly denied Petitioner’s request since the application of the equitable tolling standard to undisputed or established facts is a question of law. The Court reviewed the language, context, and history of 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(D) and noted that it does not preclude established facts when referring to questions of law. The Court also noted that it has consistently applied a presumption of reviewability to immigration statutes, and to find otherwise would create a barrier to meaningful judicial review. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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