Pereira v. Sessions

(Slip Opinion) OCTOBER TERM, 2017 1 Syllabus NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus PEREIRA v. SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT No. 17–459. Argued April 23, 2018—Decided June 21, 2018 Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), nonpermanent residents who are subject to re- moval proceedings may be eligible for cancellation of removal if, among other things, they have “been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of [an] application” for cancellation. 8 U. S. C. §1229(b)(1)(A). Under the stop-time rule, however, the period of con- tinuous presence is “deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a no- tice to appear under section 1229(a).” §1229(d)(1)(A). Section 1229(a), in turn, provides that the Government shall serve nonciti- zens in removal proceedings with a written “ ‘notice to appear,’ ” spec- ifying, among other things, “[t]he time and place at which the [re- moval] proceedings will be held.” §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Per a 1997 regulation stating that a “notice to appear” served on a noncitizen need only provide “the time, place and date of the initial removal hearing, where practicable,” 62 Fed. Reg. 10332, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), at least in recent years, almost always serves noncitizens with notices that fail to specify the time, place, or date of initial removal hearings whenever the agency deems it im- practicable to include such information. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has held that such notices trigger the stop-time rule even if they do not specify the time and date of the removal proceed- ings. Petitioner Wescley Fonseca Pereira is a native and citizen of Brazil who came to the United States in 2000 and remained after his visa expired. Following a 2006 arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, DHS served Pereira with a document titled “notice to appear” that did not specify the date and time of his initial 2 PEREIRA v. SESSIONS Syllabus removal hearing, instead ordering him to appear at a time and date to be set in the future. More than a year later, in 2007, the Immigra- tion Court mailed Pereira a more specific notice setting the date and time for his initial hearing, but the notice was sent to the wrong ad- dress and was returned as undeliverable. As a result, Pereira failed to appear, and the Immigration Court ordered him removed in absen- tia. In 2013, Pereira was arrested for a minor motor ...

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