SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The 9th Circuit ruled that Carlos and Belem Carolina Navarro are members of a class of immigrants who were eligible for suspension of deportation before the government passed a law capping the number of applications the attorney general could grant and reducing the time they could count toward their seven-year residency requirement.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1997 made it more difficult for illegal immigrants living in the United States to fight deportation. Before it was passed, an immigrant in deportation proceedings could continue to accrue time toward their seven-year residency. They were no longer able to do so under the Act's "stop-clock" provision. The Act also limited the attorney general to granting 4,000 applications for suspension of deportation per year.
In March 1997 several immigrants who were eligible for deportation relief under pre-IIRIRA law, but whose applications would be denied under the Act, won a settlement allowing them to apply for "renewed suspension" of deportation under the pre-IIRIRA rules.
The Navarros said they were class members, because their hearing had been scheduled for a pre-IIRIRA date but it continued after the law took effect.
The appeals court granted their petition for review and remanded their case.
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