On January 18, 2012 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers, as well as Vartelas v. Holder. Non-citizens may be able to avoid deportation if they have lived in the United States for at least seven years and have been lawful permanent residents for at least five years. The central issue in Holder v. Gutierrez and Holder v. Sawyers is whether a non-citizen who cannot himself meet these requirements can nevertheless avoid deportation if while still a minor he lived with a parent who could meet these requirements.
The issue in Vartelas v. Holder is whether a statute providing for the denial of reentry to a lawful permanent resident who travels abroad after having been convicted of certain offenses can be applied retroactively to a legal permanent resident who was convicted prior to the passage of the statute.
To discuss these cases we have Michael Scaperlanda, who is a professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.