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"This case requires us to decide whether the petitioner Ricardo Allen Gill can sustain a collateral challenge to his order of deportation, which is a defense to a prosecution for illegal reentry in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a), (b)(2). The resolution of this question turns on whether the Supreme Court’s ruling in Vartelas v. Holder, 132 S.Ct. 1479 (2012), requires us to find that Gill is eligible for relief from deportation under former section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(c) (1994), (“§ 212(c)”). Prior to 1996, § 212(c) provided many noncitizens convicted of aggravated felonies with the opportunity to seek relief from deportation. The repeal of § 212(c) in 1996 effectively eliminated statutorily‐provided discretionary relief from deportation for this class of noncitizens. See Rankine v. Reno, 319 F.3d 93, 96 (2d Cir. 2003). Because the rescission of such relief affected an immense number of people, there has been a considerable amount of litigation to determine whether § 212(c) relief remains available to noncitizens who were once eligible for this form of relief. In the instant appeal, we must consider whether Congress’s repeal of § 212 would have an impermissible retroactive effect if applied to foreclose such relief to noncitizens like Gill who, prior to the date of § 212(c)’s repeal, were convicted of aggravated felonies after proceeding to trial. In Rankine, we held that deeming the petitioners ineligible for § 212(c) relief on the basis of pre‐repeal convictions obtained after trial not would have an impermissibly retroactive effect because the petitioners in that case had not “detrimentally rel[ied] on the availability of discretionary relief when exercising their right to trial.” Id. at 95. However, we conclude that, in light of Vartelas, Rankine is no longer good law in that respect. We now hold that deeming noncitizens like Gill ineligible for § 212(c) relief merely because they were convicted after trial would have an impermissible retroactive effect because it would impermissibly attach new legal consequences to convictions that pre‐date the repeal of § 212(c). Because Gill was erroneously found to be ineligible for relief under § 212(c), we find that the district court erred, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion." - U.S. v. Gill, May 7, 2014. [Hats off to CJA appointed counsel Michael J. Stachowski!]