In an 8-1 decision in Pereira v. Sessions released June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a strong rebuke of a longstanding Department of Homeland Security policy that could have implications for hundreds of immigration cases in Colorado, and many more outside the Centennial State.
For years, noncitizens who’d been flagged for deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were given a written “notice to appear” at a future removal proceeding; those DHS notices, however, almost always did not include a time, date or place at which the recipient was required to show up. Months or even years later, the government would then send a follow-up notice with more specific information about the hearing. Often, those second notices never made it to the person to which they were addressed.
“Immigration court is kind of operating in the mid-’90s,” said Jessica Burnett, immigration coordinator with the Rocky Mountain Immigration Advocacy Network. “There’s no excuse for why agencies wouldn’t be able to collaborate and get that information on the first hit. The system is so out-dated; the smallest paperwork error can result in affecting someone’s life in the largest way possible.”