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High Court to Review Removal of Lawful Permanent Residents

April 22, 2019, 1:38 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court could make it easier for lawful permanent residents to remain in the country after committing a crime.

The justices agreed today to review an Eleventh Circuit ruling regarding when lawful permanent residents can obtain discretionary “cancellation of removal.”

At issue is the “stop-time rule,” which pauses the accumulation of the seven-year residency requirement necessary to obtain cancellation.

The rule is triggered, among other times, whenever such non-citizens commit an offense that renders them “inadmissible.”

The Second, Third, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits have all said the rule is kicks in regardless of whether an admitted immigrant is seeking admission to the U.S.

The Ninth Circuit is the only one to hold that immigrants can’t be “inadmissible” unless they are actually seeking admission.

Andre Martello Barton, a Jamaican citizen and a lawful permanent U.S. resident, asked the Supreme Court to resolve the dispute after the Eleventh Circuit found that he was a few months shy of qualifying for cancellation of removal.

The court agreed to take the case but likely won’t hear it until next term, which begins in October.

There were an estimated 13.2 million lawful permanent residents in the United States as of January 2014, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The case is Barton v. Barr, U.S., No. 18-725, review granted 4/22/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at