Supreme Court Denies Deportation Challenges from Three Migrants

 June 15, 2024

The Supreme Court recently made a crucial decision affecting immigration law enforcement.

According to Breitbart, in a narrow 5-4 verdict, the Court ruled against three migrants attempting to revoke their deportation orders, basing their appeal on inadequate initial hearing notices.

Esmelis Campos-Chaves, Varinder Singh, and Raul Daniel Mendez-Colín were all issued deportation orders in absentia after failing to appear for their scheduled immigration hearings. Initial notifications, known as Notices to Appear (NTAs), lacked specific details about the time and location of their hearings. However, the Department of Justice later rectified this by sending detailed notices that complied with legal requirements.

Despite the corrected notices, none of the individuals attended their hearings. They later contended that the initial flawed NTAs invalidated their deportation orders. This argument became the core of their legal challenge as the case ascended through the U.S. judicial system.

Differing Opinions in Lower Courts Lead to Supreme Court Review

The case reached the Supreme Court following mixed rulings from lower courts. While the Fifth Circuit supported the deportation order for one, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the other two, creating a discrepancy that escalated the matter to the nation's highest court.

In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito emphasized that the subsequent notices provided to the men met all necessary legal standards, thereby upholding their removal orders. He articulated that the government had indeed conceded the initial notices were non-compliant but argued the corrected notifications sufficed.

Each of the aliens in these cases argues that he may seek rescission because he did not receive a notice to appear that complies with paragraph (1). This contention formed a significant part of the legal deliberations.

"We hold that, to rescind an in absentia removal order on the ground that the alien 'did not receive notice under paragraph (1) or (2),' the alien must show that he did not receive notice under either paragraph for the hearing at which the alien was absent and ordered removed."

Justices Jackson, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Gorsuch expressed dissent. They disagreed with the majority's interpretation, highlighting concerns about due process and the importance of initial notifications meeting statutory requirements to ensure fairness in deportation proceedings.


This judgment has critical implications for immigration law, particularly concerning the protocols followed by the Department of Justice in handling deportation cases. It confirms the legal position that subsequent correct notifications can remedy initial procedural deficiencies in NTAs.

The decision underscores the Court’s hardline stance on immigration enforcement, prioritizing strict adherence to scheduled court appearances over initial clerical errors in documentation. It also emphasizes the responsibility of migrants to attend their hearings once properly notified.

The Supreme Court's decision has affirmed the importance of follow-up notices in deportation cases, asserting that these can sufficiently rectify any earlier deficiencies. This ruling will undoubtedly influence future cases of a similar nature, serving as a precedent for how notification errors are treated in the context-designed legal framework for immigration proceedings.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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