Sometimes, immigrants come to Kentucky and other states in the nation and reside there for many years, even if they do not have authorization to do so. These immigrants can be productive members of society, but they do face the threat of deportation. However, they still have rights when it comes to removal proceedings that must be protected.
A recent Supreme Court ruling could affect thousands of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled that if an immigrant is in the U.S. without authorization, and receives a "notice to appear" in court, the notice must contain the exact time and place of the removal proceedings. Without this information, the notice will not "stop the clock" when it comes to the unauthorized immigrant's "continued physical presence" in the nation.
This is a significant ruling. When a person starts living in the U.S. without authorization, a "clock" starts at the time the person enters the country. Once that clock hits 10 years, depending on the circumstances, the immigrant may be able to apply for a "cancellation of removal" But, if the immigrant receives a "notice to appeal" the clock stops, meaning the immigrant will not have met the 10-year requirement for a cancellation of removal. This ruling protects those living in the country without authorization who may one day be eligible for a cancellation of removal.
There are numerous ways a person can seek the legal status necessary to legally reside in the U.S. Though, when a person is facing deportation proceedings, the situation can be intimidating. Even if they are not authorized to be in the country, immigrants still have rights with regards to deportation and removal, including the right to a hearing. If these rights are not being upheld, as the above case shows, immigrants may be able to take legal action.