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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Decide Deportation Case Involving Children of Immigrants

Posted Sep 28, 2011 9:29 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether immigrants who came to the United States as children can use the length of their parents’ stay here to avoid deportation.

The Supreme Court granted cert in two consolidated appeals from the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the New York Times reports.

Under federal immigration law, immigrants who have been lawful permanent residents for at least five years and have lived continuously here for at least seven years may seek leniency in deportation proceedings. The 9th Circuit has ruled that immigrants who came to the United States as children can count their parents’ years in the United States toward the residency requirement.

The Supreme Court is considering the fate of two men who ran into legal trouble in the cases, Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers. One case involves Carlos Gutierrez, who entered the country at age 5 and became a legal U.S. resident at age 19, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Two years later, in December 2005, he was accused of smuggling three minors into the United States for $1,500.

The other case involves Damien Sawyers, who became a lawful permanent resident in 1995 at the age of 15. He was convicted in 2002 of “maintaining a dwelling for keeping a controlled substance.”

SCOTUSblog links to documents in both cases.

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