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Immigration Law

CA9 Makes Short Work of Laparra: Singh v. Garland

Singh v. Garland

"This appeal requires us to decide what notice must be given to noncitizens before the government can order them removed in absentia. ... The government reasons that because § 1229a(b)(5)(A) is written in the disjunctive and allows for in absentia removal if a noncitizen received notice in accordance with paragraph (1) “or” (2) of §1229(a), the government should be permitted to follow the two-step notice process in the in absentia removal context, even though the Supreme Court rejected that two-step notice process in the stop-time rule context. See Niz-Chavez v. Garland, 141 S. Ct. 1474, 1486 (2021). The BIA recently adopted the government’s argument in Matter of Laparra, 28 I. & N. Dec. 425 (BIA 2022). We are not persuaded by the government or the BIA that the word “or” in § 1229a(b)(5)(A) displaces the Supreme Court’s interpretations of “Notice to Appear” in Pereira and Niz-Chavez. The plain text, the statutory structure, and common sense command otherwise. ... The Supreme Court’s decisions in Pereira and Niz-Chavez, along with the text and structure of the statutory provisions governing in absentia removal orders and Notices to Appear, unambiguously required the government to provide Singh with a Notice to Appear as a single document that included all the information set forth in 8 U.S.C. § 1229(a)(1), including the time and date of the removal proceedings. Because the government did not provide Singh with statutorily compliant notice before his removal hearing, Singh’s in absentia removal order is subject to recission pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii). We grant Singh’s petition on that ground, do not reach his exceptional circumstances argument, and remand to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."  (Emphasis added.)

[Hats off to Saad Ahmad!]