Immigrants who commit felonies are liable for deportation.
U.S. law allows the attorney general to cancel the removal of an alien from the United States if the alien has held been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. The question before the court was whether the Board of Immigration Appeals should "impute," or credit, a parent's continuous legal presence to a child.
In the cases of two immigrants convicted of crimes, the BIA held that it does not. A federal appeals court in California reversed.
The Supreme Court reversed the appeals court in an opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan, who said the BIA's interpretation of the law is a "permissible construction" of federal law.