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Immigration Law

Patel v. Garland SC Oral Arg. Analysis: Prof. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Prof. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Dec. 7, 2021

"The Supreme Court on Monday heard oral argument in Patel v. Garlandan immigration case that raises a question about federal court review for noncitizens who were denied certain types of discretionary relief. For just over 90 minutes, the justices explored statutory text, legislative history, and the presumption of judicial review. The case involves Pankajkumar Patel, a citizen of India who has lived and worked in the United States for nearly 30 years. Patel applied for “adjustment of status,” which allows a person to obtain permanent residency (i.e., a green card). ... Judging the outcome by oral argument is a challenging task. With that said, based on the questions and concerns raised, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan seem strongly poised to support either Patel or the government’s reading of the statute, with potential support by several conservative justices. If so, Patel would be able to have a federal court review the finding by immigration authorities that he is ineligible for adjustment of status. Roberts and Alito seemed most likely to dissent."