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Court Finds Presumption Against Retroactive Legislation Bars Application of IIRAIRA to Petitioner’s Case

Where Congress had passed the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) after the petitioner had committed a drug offense but before his crime was adjudicated, the Second Circuit granted the petition for review and remanded, holding that because the petitioner had committed his drug offense prior to IIRAIRA’s passage, he should not have been forced to seek admission to the United States after his brief vacation to the Dominican Republic in 2007. The court further held that the BIA should evaluate the petitioner’s motions to reopen his removal proceedings and to stay his removal under the law in effect at the time of the commission of his 1990 drug offense.

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