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Immigration Law

Supreme Court on Cancellation: Barton v. Barr (5-4)

Barton v. Barr

[Maj. Op.] "Barton argues that the BIA and the Eleventh Circuit misinterpreted the statute. He contends that the §1182(a)(2) offense that precludes cancellation of removal must be one of the offenses of removal. We disagree with Barton, and we affirm the judgment of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit."

[Dissent] "At bottom, the Court’s interpretation is at odds with the express words of the statute, with the statute’s overall structure, and with pertinent canons of statutory construction. It is also at odds with common sense. With virtually every other provision of the INA, Congress granted preferential treatment to lawfully admitted noncitizens—and most of all to LPRs like Barton. But because of the Court’s opinion today, noncitizens who were already admitted to the country are treated, for the purposes of the stop-time rule, identically to those who were not—despite Congress’ express references to inadmissibility and deportability. The result is that, under the Court’s interpretation, an immigration judge may not even consider whether Barton is entitled to cancellation of removal—because of an offense that Congress deemed too trivial to allow for Barton’s removal in the first instance. Because the Court’s opinion does no justice to the INA, let alone to longtime LPRs like Barton, I respectfully dissent."