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Immigration — removal

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Immigration — removal

An alien facing removal cannot reopen previous removal orders.

“Tapia wants us to treat §1231(a)(5) as forbidding reopening only of the original removal order, and not of the order reinstating it. The statutory language could be read as Tapia proposes only at the expense of draining it of meaning—for the passage of time already forbids reopening of the original removal order. (Recall that, per §1229a(c)(7)(C)(i), the deadline is 90 days from the final order of removal.) Unless §1231(a)(5) blocks reopening of the decision to reinstate, the prohibition serves no function. Section 1231(a)(5) is designed to expedite re-removal of a person who returns without permission after being removed. See Ponta-Garcia v. Attorney General, 557 F.3d 158, 162 (3d Cir. 2009); Morales- Izquierdo v. Gonzales, 486 F.3d 484, 491, 494 (9th Cir. 2007); De Sandoval v. Attorney General, 440 F.3d 1276, 1283 (11th Cir. 2006). On Tapia’s understanding, however, the process for reinstatement and re-removal would be as protracted as the process for contesting an initial removal decision. That would not be a sensible way to read the no-reopening language in §1231(a)(5).”


11-2721 Tapia-Lemos v. Holder

Petition for Review of an Order of the Department of Homeland Security, Easterbrook, J.

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