U.S. Supreme Court

DOJ Tells of Error on Immigration Policy; Supreme Court Cited Assertion in 2009 Case


The U.S. Solicitor General’s office says it made an inadvertent error when it told the U.S. Supreme Court that federal officials routinely facilitate the return of wrongly deported immigrants.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. referred to the purported policy in a case that made it easier to deport aliens, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The 2009 opinion, Nken v. Holder, found no irreparable injury if aliens are deported in error while an immigration appeal is pending.

The letter said the office had wrongly implied that systematic procedures were in place to help wrongly deported immigrants return to the United States. New procedures, however, will now conform with the 2009 statement.

The correction was made after U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ordered the government to turn over Justice Department emails documenting how its lawyers developed the claim. He ruled in a freedom of information suit filed by the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law.

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