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6614: Haitian man tests deportation law (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>


   WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (AP) -- The Supreme Court agreed Friday to clarify
new federal laws that aim to speed up the deportation of aliens convicted
of committing crimes in this country.
   The court said it will hear a pair of appeals by the government and by
three aliens facing deportation, to decide how much judicial review is
allowed for aliens ordered deported after a criminal conviction.
   At issue are two 1996 laws, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility
Act. They dramatically altered the government's treatment of aliens who
commit crimes or face deportation for other reasons.
   Previously, some aliens facing deportation for committing a crime could
seek a waiver from the attorney general. The new laws barred such waivers
for aliens convicted of aggravated felonies.
   The new laws said deportation orders must be reviewed in federal appeals
courts rather than in "habeas corpus" proceedings in federal trial courts.
And, the new laws said aliens convicted of aggravated felonies and drug
crimes generally were not entitled to court review at all.
   The cases granted review Friday included a government appeal seeking to
deport a man from Haiti who pleaded guilty to a drug crime in Connecticut,
and a separate appeal by three natives of the Dominican Republic, Mexico
and Guyana who were ordered deported for drug crimes in New York state.
   Immigration officials ordered all four aliens deported and said the new
law barred them from seeking a waiver.
   The Haitian man, Enrico St. Cyr, won rulings by a federal trial judge
and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowing him to seek a waiver
because his crime occurred before the new law took effect. The other three
aliens took similar arguments directly to the appeals court.
   In each case, the 2nd Circuit court said that because the new law barred
appeals court review of such issues, the alien could file a habeas corpus
petition in federal trial court.
   Denying all court review would "raise a serious constitutional
question," the appeals court said in the St. Cyr case.
   The government's appeal said the 2nd Circuit court ruling in that case
"frustrates Congress' intent" to limit court review of criminal aliens'
deportation proceedings.
   Lawyers for the three other aliens said they agreed with the appeals
court ruling so long as they could pursue their cases in federal trial
   The cases are Immigration and Naturalization Service v. St. Cyr, 00-767,
and Calcano-Martinez v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 00-1011.
   On the Net: For the appeals court rulings:
http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html and click on 2nd Circuit.

     WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday
to consider two 1996 laws designed to restrict and speed up judicial review
in cases involving aliens convicted of crimes in this country and ordered
deported from the United States.
     The high court said it will decide a pair of appeals, one by the
federal government and one by three aliens challenging their deportation
orders, on how much, if any, judicial review should be allowed in such
     The justices will hear arguments in April, with a ruling due by the
end of June.
     The Justice Department said in its appeal that the issue "potentially
affects thousands of criminal aliens" who may seek to file petitions for
court review challenging their deportation orders.
     It said the issues were "of broad significance to the administration
of the nation's immigration laws."
     At issue were two 1996 laws, approved by Congress and signed by
President Bill Clinton -- the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.
     The laws require that deportation orders must be reviewed by U.S.
appeals courts rather than in "habeas corpus" proceedings before federal
trial judges. Aliens convicted of aggravated felonies and drug crimes are
barred from seeking review by any court.
     The law also prevented the attorney general from granting
discretionary relief from deportation to aliens who have been convicted of
aggravated felonies.
     The Justice Department appeal involved Enrico St. Cyr, a Haitian
native convicted in 1996 on drug charges and then ordered deported. At
issue was whether a federal district court has jurisdiction over has
challenge to the order.
     The other case involved Deboris Calcano-Martinez, a native of the
Dominican Republic; Sergio Madrid, a Mexican native; and Fazila Khan of
Guyana. They were separately convicted of drug crimes and ordered deported.