The Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a landmark case that could impact thousands of immigrants who seek to avoid removal from the United States.
The 6 to 3 decision split conservative and liberal justices in a decision involving Agusto Niz-Chavez. Niz-Chavez sought to cancel his deportation due to the length of time he has lived in the U.S.
Niz-Chavez, a Michigan resident, entered the country illegally in 2005.
“In this case, the law’s terms ensure that, when the federal government seeks a procedural advantage against an individual, it will at least supply him with a single and reasonably comprehensive statement of the nature of the proceedings against him,” conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the ruling.
The court’s three liberal justices joined Gorsuch in the decision, along with Justices Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett.
According to a Reuters release, “In a dissent, conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, said the ruling was “perplexing as a matter of statutory interpretation and common sense.”
Under current law, immigrants without lawful status may apply to have their deportation cancelled after 10 years. The question in the case was regarding whether multiple documents were sufficient or whether a single document was required for the case.
The ruling comes as immigration continues to serve as a major challenge for President Joe Biden. The president’s immigration policy changes have led to an influx of new immigrants that have led to controversy from Republicans and some Democrats.