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Immigration deadline extensions can be granted by the courts

Finding out that they are going to be deported is a terrifying experience for immigrants living in California. They face separation from loved ones and the potential of losing all that they have worked so hard to obtain. It may be possible for people to appeal a deportation order, but it is important that they file the right legal actions and documents on time. When an error is made through no fault of the immigrant, it falls upon the courts to decide whether a deadline extension is permissible.

This was the question that the U.S. Supreme Court was asked to make a decision on recently. The case was transferred to the high court after an appeals court stated it had no authority to grant an extension on a deadline for a deportation appeal. The court had received the request from an immigrant whose previous attorney missed a 90-day deadline to file the appeal itself.

The immigrant was informed that he would be deported back to his native country, Mexico, after he pled guilty to a charge of assault. For the past 15 years, the man has lived in the United States and it is unknown whether he has other family members in the country. The Supreme Court issued an 8-1 opinion, dismissing the appeal court’s claim and emphasizing that authority to extend a deadline in an immigration proceeding does lie with the lower court.

The clarification from the high court is important to immigrants who are going through any kind of immigration proceeding. This may give these people a stronger chance of remaining in the U.S., especially in cases where their representative has failed them. If people have questions about this ruling or other immigration matters, they might want to consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney.

Source: Boston Herald, “High court says immigration deadlines can be extended,” by Associated Press, June 15, 2015.

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