Proponents of immigration reform experienced a victory on Monday, June 15, as the Supreme Court ruled to allow the extension of various deadlines pertaining to residency statuses for undocumented individuals living in the United States. Specifically, the ruling bolsters the ability of the various United States appellate courts to intervene in such matters by extending deadlines for individuals who have received subpar representation from their legal counsel. While the repercussions of the ruling remain to be seen, it’s fair to assume that this new precedent could work in tandem with president Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform.
According to the Latin Post, the case stemmed from the trial of Noel Reyes Mata. Mata was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, and was subsequently sentenced to deportation from the U.S. Following his sentencing, Mata had intended to appeal the ruling through the Board of Immigration Appeals, or B.I.A. Regrettably, Mata’s attorneys failed to take the proper action. As they did not file the appropriate appellate paperwork in a timely manner, Mata was faced with deportation without recourse. His case eventually went to the Supreme Court, which handed down the ruling on Monday.
“The motion was passed by a final vote of 8-1”
According to Jurist, the opinion from the Supreme Court was arrived at nearly unanimously, with a final tally of an 8-1 vote. The only dissenting opinion came from justice Clarence Thomas, who did not support the extension of immigration-related court proceedings for undocumented immigrants currently residing stateside. The ruling follows in the footsteps of countless other U.S. Supreme Court rulings, making ineffective counsel an appropriate reason to open a court case related to immigration matters.