Immigrant Subject to Deportation May Stay in U.S. to Avoid Torture, Supreme Court Rules

Published by Matt Fishman on

An immigrant who “pled guilty to receiving stolen property” was ordered to be removed from the United States by an immigration judge. However, under the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture, an immigrant shall not be extradited to another country “where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.”

While the U.S. is member to this convention, the country’s law surrounding judicial review of immigrant removal orders states that “no court shall have jurisdiction to review any final order of removal against an alien who is removable by reason of having committed [certain] criminal offense[s]”. For this reason, the U.S. lower courts decided the immigrant in this case could not avoid deportation.

Today, the Supreme Court has reversed this decision, ruling that a “noncitizen who demonstrates a likelihood of torture in the designated country of removal is entitled to relief under the international Convention Against Torture” separate from the United States’ aforementioned judicial review law.