Top Court Rules Against Illegal Immigrant

AP, June 22, 2006

The Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to some longtime illegal residents, upholding the deportation of a Mexican man who lived in the United States for 20 years.

By an 8-1 vote, justices said that Humberto Fernandez-Vargas, who was deported several times from the 1970s to 1981, is subject to a 1996 law Congress passed to streamline the legal process for expelling aliens who have been deported at least once before and returned.

After his last deportation in 1981, Fernandez-Vargas returned to the United States, fathered a child, started a trucking company in Utah and eventually married his longtime companion, a U.S. citizen.

But by the time he applied for legal status—after his marriage in 2001—Congress had passed the Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which revoked the right to appeal to an immigration judge an order of removal.

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The case is Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 04-1376.

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