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Reinstatement of Removal

Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 548 U.S. 30 (2006)

  • In a decision dated June 22, 2006, the Supreme Court held that INA §241(a)(5) – the reinstatement of removal provision – may be applied to persons who reentered the U.S. prior to the effective date of IIRIRA (April 1, 1997) and who did not take any affirmative steps to legalize status before that date.
  • The Court’s decision rested on the retroactivity analysis in Landgraf v. USI Film Products, 511 U.S. 244 (1994).
  • The Court concluded that there was no retroactive effect because petitioner’s conduct – remaining in the U.S. after illegal reentry – was not completed before the enactment of INA §241(a)(5).

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