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Recently in Immigration Law Category

This week, SCOTUS issued an order in one of the two hotly contested and widely watched travel ban cases under review. The High Court ordered that the Fourth Circuit judgment upholding the district court's injunction be vacated, and that the matter be remanded back to the Fourth Circuit with instructions to dismiss the challenge as moot.

For those keeping a close eye on the controversial travel bans, the case that was ordered dismissed was the Trump v. International Refugee Assistance case. This case challenged the second travel ban, enacted on March 6, 2017, Executive Order 13,780, which attempted to cure the deficiencies pointed out by the court in the first travel ban, Executive Order 13,769.

The latest development in the travel ban executive order cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court involves the letter briefs submitted to the Court pursuant to September 25th order. When the Court took the case off calendar, it also issued a request to the parties for briefing on the issue of mootness in light of the most recent executive order travel ban.

Clearly, the Trump administration urged the High Court to vacate the lower courts' rulings on the grounds of mootness. The opponents of the travel ban explain that the case has not been rendered moot by the latest iteration of the travel ban. No surprises there.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, SCOTUS denied President Trump's lawyers' motion seeking clarification of the Court's recent order lifting the injunction that stopped the controversial travel ban from being enforced. The Court issued a short, two-paragraph, three-sentence, order denying the motion, primarily explaining that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals needs to rule before the High Court will rule again on this issue.

Curiously, the second paragraph to the order is a single sentence that states: "Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would have stayed the District Court order in its entirety."

Travel Ban Approved Against Some With No 'Bona Fide' Ties to U.S.

Reversing two appellate courts, the U.S. Supreme Court approved part of the President's travel ban against nationals from six Muslim nations and refugees.

The court said the President's executive order may be enforced against those people who have no bode fide connections in the United States. Those who already have families, work, or school in the county may continue to enter pending a hearing next session in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project.

Government Can't Take Citizenship From Refugee for Lying to Immigration

A Serbian refugee who lied to immigration officials cannot be stripped of her American citizenship because her lie was immaterial, the U.S. Supreme Court said.

"We have never read a statute to strip citizenship from someone who met the legal criteria for acquiring it," Justice Elena Kagan wrote in Maslenjak v. United States. "We will not start now."

The case involved one naturalized citizen, but it marks another setback to the Trump administration's policies against immigrants. It also marks a turning point in the Court, as the newest member of the panel said the decision goes too far.

Jae Lee immigrated to the United States from South Korea when he was just a teenager. Decades later, he was accused of dealing ecstasy in Memphis, Tennessee. At the urging of his attorney, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and one day in jail.

Here's the rub. Unlike his parents, Lee had never become an American citizen. And despite his concerns, his attorney assured him that a guilty plea would not result in his deportation, an assurance that turned out to be dead wrong. Now Lee will go before the Supreme Court tomorrow, arguing that his conviction should be overturned due to ineffective assistance of counsel. But will the fact that Lee was almost guaranteed to lose at trial keep him from prevailing?

Juan Esquivel-Quintana was 20 years old when he pleaded no contest to having sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend. Though the relationship would not have been a crime in 43 states or under federal law, it was one in California, where the state prohibits an adult to have sex with a minor three or more years younger. And because Esquivel-Quintana was a legal immigrant, not a citizen, his conviction led the U.S. government to begin deportation proceedings.

Esquivel-Quintana's case came before the Court earlier this week, as the Justices heard arguments over whether his crime qualifies as an "aggravated felony" mandating his deportation.

When a Ninth Circuit panel refused to reinstate President Trump's immigration ban executive order yesterday, the president went straight to Twitter. "We'll see you in court," he said -- in all caps.

We're presuming he means the Supreme Court here. It's possible that an emergency appeal to the highest court in the land will come within a day or two.

But if Washington v. Trump makes its way to SCOTUS, will the outcome change? That's not likely, according to some legal experts.

Justice Scalia is no longer on the Supreme Court, but his influence certainly remains. And President Trump seems committed to continuing, even extending, that legacy. He's spoken of appointing justices "very much in the mold of Justice Scalia," for example, and his shortlist is full of Scalia-like originalists and textualists.

But when it comes to Trump's signature issue, that "big, beautiful wall" meant to offset the Statue of Liberty, one of Justice Scalia's opinions might stand in Trump's way.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments on the extent of the government's power to detain immigrants facing removal, without the opportunity for release. Currently, thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers are held in prison-like conditions while their cases work through the immigration system. Those detentions are long, taking over a year in most cases, and detained immigrants are offered no bond hearings.

The Ninth Circuit ruled last year that such detainees must be given a bond hearing within six months and that the government must release those who it cannot prove are a flight risk or danger to the public. The Supreme Court Justices, however, appeared to split 4-4 during oral arguments, raising the possibility that the Court could deadlock on the issues raised.