Supreme Court Makes Ruling Over Green Card

( – In a 6-3 ruling, the court decided that if a green card holder was convicted of obstruction of justice, they can be deported. It is expected that the decision will make it easier for some lawful U.S. residents who have been living in the country for years to be deported by the federal government if they have been convicted of certain crimes.

The case, Pugin v. Garland, involves a Mauritius citizen, Jean Francois Pugin, who became a permanent U.S. resident in 1985, and a Mexican resident, Fernando Cordero-Garcia, who became a permanent U.S. resident in 1965.

In 2014, under Virginia law, Pugin was convicted of a felony as an accessory. In 2009, Cordero-Garcia was convicted of various offenses under California law, one of which was dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.

The deportation of both men was pursued by the Department of Homeland Security because both had convictions for aggravated felonies which were related to obstruction of justice. The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled in the Department of Homeland Security’s favor in both cases.

Upon appeal, the federal courts arrived at opposite conclusions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled Pugin’s conviction constituted an offense related to obstruction of justice. However, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that Cordero-Garcia’s conviction was not related to obstruction of justice.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, joined by Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, wrote the majority opinion. In writing the opinion, Justice Kavanaugh said the law says an open investigation does not need to be happening for obstruction of justice to be taking place. to be A separate opinion which concurs with the court’s judgment was written by Jackson. In the opinion Justice Kavanaugh

A dissenting opinion, which was joined in part by Justice Elena Kagan and in full by Justice Neil Gorsuch, was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

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