What if the fate of an immigrant hinged on how the Supreme Court interprets the words “not” and “or”? It might in the case of Campos-Chaves v. Garland, with arguments scheduled for January 8—when the intricacies of U.S. immigration law and the English language collide in the courtroom.
Moris Campos-Chaves, a gardener from El Salvador who now lives in Houston, faces deportation due to a missed hearing, which he argues he wasn’t properly notified about.
In 2005, Campos-Chaves entered the United States as an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador and has worked as a gardener in the years since, living with his wife and two U.S.-citizen children. He was ordered removed in absentia after failing to appear at his hearing. However, Campos-Chaves’s attorneys note that he was not provided a date and time of the hearing as the law requires and that the statute allows noncitizens like him to get another chance at avoiding deportation by revoking such an order.