Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales Immigration Case To Be Decided By Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case of Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales to determine if a law passed by congress in 1996 can be applied retroactively to immigrants. The legislation passed by congress and enacted a year later in 1997 eliminated court hearings for individuals for individuals who had previously been deported. Fernandez-Vargas entered reentered the US prior to the law being written in 1996 but was deported without a hearing. Lawyers on Vargas' side claim that he should be exempt from the law since he entered the United States prior to its creation.
Until this point, courts have been split on the issue. While the 6th and 9th Circuit Courts have sided with Fernandez-Vargas on the legal dispute, the 10th Circuit Court sided with the government. The US government defends their position by pointing to the nature and intent of the law. According to Thomas Burr of The Salt Lake Tribune, Congress made it clear that the law should apply to all immigrants, regardless of when they reentered the country.
Fernandez-Vargas' case is could affect thousands of immigrants who have reentered the country after previously being deported. If Fernandez-Vargas loses his case, then those individuals who reentered the country prior to 1997 will be subject to the same deportation procedures as Vargas.
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