Oral argument: January 18, 2012
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Jan. 24, 2011)
IMMIGRATION, STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, SECTION 1229b, CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL
In Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers, the Supreme Court will determine whether aliens may impute their parents’ time spent lawfully residing in the United States to satisfy residency requirements for cancellation of removal under Section 1229b. In both cases, the individuals entered the United States as children, lived with their legal permanent resident parents, and later became inadmissible due to violations of the law. Attorney General Eric Holder argues that the plain language of 1229b does not allow imputation, and that allowing imputation would be contrary to congressional intent. On the other hand, Respondents Gutierrez and Sawyers contend that Congress intended the Immigration and Nationality Act to preserve family unity. They argue that interpreting the statute to disallow imputation would be unreasonable and contrary to congressional intent. If the Supreme Court upholds the imputation rule, aliens who resided with their legal permanent resident parents as minors would be able to impute the their parents’ residency period to satisfy the requirements for cancellation of removal under 1229(b).