Calcano-Martinez v. INS

PETITIONER: Calcano-Martinez et al.
RESPONDENT: INS
LOCATION: Medical University of South Carolina

DOCKET NO.: 00-1011
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 533 US 348 (2001)
ARGUED: Apr 24, 2001
DECIDED: Jun 25, 2001

ADVOCATES:
Edwin S. Kneedler - Department of Justice, argued the cause for the respondent
Lucas Guttentag - Argued the cause for the petitioners

Facts of the case

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) expressly precludes courts of appeals from exercising "jurisdiction to review any final order of removal against any alien who is removable by reason of "a conviction for certain criminal offenses, including any aggravated felony." Deboris Calcano-Martinez, Sergio Madrid, and Fazila Khan are all lawful permanent residents of the United States subject to administratively final orders of removal because they were convicted of aggravated felonies. Each filed a petition for review in the Court of Appeals and a habeas corpus petition in the District Court to challenge the Board of Immigration Appeals' determination that they were ineligible to apply for a discretionary waiver of deportation under former section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petitions for lack of jurisdiction. The court also held that they could pursue their claims in a District Court habeas action.

Question

Does the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 remove the jurisdiction of federal appellate courts to review direct appeals of final deportation orders, but preserve federal district courts' habeas jurisdiction over challenges to those orders?

Media for Calcano-Martinez v. INS

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 24, 2001 in Calcano-Martinez v. INS

William H. Rehnquist:

We'll hear argument now in Number 00-1011, Deboris Calcano-Martinez v. The Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Mr. Guttentag.

Lucas Guttentag:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

The jurisdictional issue presented in this case is whether a legal ruling by the Attorney General on a pure question of law compelling the deportation of long-time legal permanent residents is reviewable in any court.

Never in our country's history has an alien been subject to deportation without the judicial branch determining the legal validity of the administrative deportation order.

We submit that the Constitution does not permit denying judicial scrutiny of the Attorney General's ruling, and that the statute did not deprive this Court and the district court and the courts of appeals of considering the pure question of law presented in this case.

Antonin Scalia:

You say the legal validity of his deportation is at issue.

In what respect do you claim he is not properly deportable?

Lucas Guttentag:

Your Honor...

Antonin Scalia:

As I understood it, it is conceded that he met the qualifications for deportation.

Lucas Guttentag:

He is... our clients are subject to the deportability grounds, but they are not subject to deportation without an adjudication of the application for discretionary relief.

The final order of deportation...

Antonin Scalia:

What you're complaining about is that the Attorney General did not accord them discretionary relief, but all of your grounds for asserting that you're not deportable you had an opportunity to challenge in court, didn't you?

Lucas Guttentag:

Well, Your Honor, the question is whether the final order of deportation was properly entered and, under this Court's case law...

Antonin Scalia:

It was properly entered if all of the qualifications for deportation existed.

Your complaint is that the Attorney General did not exercise his discretion to let your client stay in the country nonetheless.

Lucas Guttentag:

No, Your Honor, we disagree with that, respectfully.

The final order of deportation cannot be entered until there is an adjudication on the application for discretionary relief if the person is eligible to apply.

In this case, the Attorney General...

William H. Rehnquist:

What is your authority for that proposition, Mr. Guttentag, your case authority?

Lucas Guttentag:

The Chadha case, Your Honor, the Foti case, all said that the final order of deportation is contingent on...

William H. Rehnquist:

But that was not talking about the Attorney General's discretion, was it?

Lucas Guttentag:

Yes.

In all those cases, Your Honor, the question was whether a final order of deportation, and whether the discretionary element that's... on which the final order is contingent was reviewable in court, and the way the Immigration Act is...

William H. Rehnquist:

Well, that was before the IIRIRA, or however you pronounce it.

Lucas Guttentag:

Yes, but the IIRIRA has not changed that element, Your Honor.

Under the Immigration Act, both before and after, there is a two-part process for issuing a final order of deportation.

There's the question of deportability, and that's the question of whether a person falls within the grounds enumerated in the statute.

William H. Rehnquist:

And you concede those have been met here?

Lucas Guttentag:

We do concede that, Your Honor.