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Court's ruling remands immigration cases

June 21, 2010 at 6:34 PM

WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear at least a dozen cases from people awaiting immigration action for drug convictions in light of a ruling last week.

On June 14, the court held in Carachuri-Rosendo vs. Holder that a second or subsequent conviction on a simple drug possession charge wasn't an "aggravated felony" for deportation purposes under the Immigration and Nationality Act when the state conviction wasn't based on the prior conviction.

In an opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, the court held that although Carachuri-Rosendo's second conviction could have been charged as a felony because of his first conviction, that possibility alone does not mean that Carachuri-Rosendo was in reality "convicted" of an "aggravated felony" for INA purposes.

In each of the 14 cases, the court said the petition for a writ of certiorari was granted, the judgment vacated and the case remanded to district appeals court from which it came "for further consideration in light of Carachuri-Rosendo vs. Holder."

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