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Sup. Ct. Takes Up Voluntary Departure Case: Velazquez v. Garland (CA10)

July 02, 2024 (1 min read)


DECISION BELOW: 88 F.4th 1301 (CA10)

CERT. GRANTED 7/2/2024

QUESTION PRESENTED: Federal immigration law allows the government to grant a "voluntary departure" period of up to 60 days to a noncitizen "of good moral character" who receives an adverse decision in removal proceedings. 8 U.S.C. §1229c(b). If the noncitizen fails to depart during that window, he or she is subject to a civil fine and is ineligible for various forms of immigration relief (like cancellation of removal or adjustment of status) for 10 years. §1229c(d)(l). If, however, the noncitizen "file[s] a post-decision motion to reopen or reconsider during the period allowed for voluntary departure," the penalties for failure to voluntarily depart do not apply. 8 C.F.R. § 1240.26(b)(3)(iii).

The question presented is: When a noncitizen's voluntary-departure period ends on a weekend or public holiday, is a motion to reopen filed the next business day sufficient to avoid the penalties for failure to depart?

Cert. Pet. here.

Opposition here.

Reply here.