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Immigration Law

Supreme Court (7-2) on Judicial Review: Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr

Guerrero-Lasprilla v. Barr

"Section 242(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, codified as 8 U. S. C. §1252(a), provides for judicial review of a final Government order directing the removal of an alien from this country. See 66 Stat. 163, as amended, 8 U. S. C. §1101 et seq. A subdivision of that section limits the scope of that review where the removal rests upon the fact that the alien has committed certain crimes, including aggravated felonies and controlled substance offenses. §1252(a)(2)(C). Another subdivision, §1252(a)(2)(D), which we shall call the Limited Review Provision, says that in such instances courts may consider only “constitutional claims or questions of law.” The question that these two consolidated cases present is whether the phrase “questions of law” in the Provision includes the application of a legal standard to undisputed or established facts. We believe that it does. ... Both petitioners claim that the underlying facts were not in dispute, and they asked us to grant certiorari in order to determine whether their claims that the Board incorrectly applied the equitable tolling due diligence standard to the “undisputed” (or established) facts is a “question of law,” which the Limited Review Provision authorizes courts of appeals to consider. We agreed to do so. ... [W]e reverse the Fifth Circuit’s “jurisdictional” decisions, vacate its judgments, and remand these cases for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."