Colombian Pedro Pablo Guerrero-Lasprilla came to America legally back in 1986. But in 1998, his dumb ass got busted for a felony drug charge, and was told to get the fuck out.
In 2014, Matter of Abdelghany was decided by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and now Pedro was convinced this decision would offer him a chance for relief on the decision to remove him. So he filed a petition to get that relief in September of 2016.
A judge told Pedro to get fucked. “You had two fucking years, Pedro. TWO FUCKING YEARS!”
Pedro was like, “Listen you assholes, I had to wait for those dickheads in the fifth circuit to decide Lugo-Resendez v. Lynch, 831 F.3d 337 (5th Cir. 2016).
The legal term in play here is “equitable tolling.” We all know there are statutes of limitations, right? So equitable tolling basically says, that if you can make a reasonable argument as to why you were prevented from filing within that statute of limitations, then equitable tolling is an argument you can use to not get rejected for your relief you’re seeking because of the statute.
So Pedro is trying to colorfully argue that because he was waiting on the “Lugo” decision, he deserves relief under the premise of equitable tolling. But the 5th circuit argued that in Penalva v. Sessions, 884 F.3d 521, 525 (5th Cir. 2018), equitable tolling is a simple matter of fact, not a matter of law, and therefore, none of their fucking business. So they told Pedro, they didn’t have time for any of his bullshit.
So here we are at SCOTUS, for his last ditch effort to stay in America, and Pedro is doing his level best to argue he does deserve equitable tolling relief, because this is a matter of law for the courts to decide, and that the 5th circuit are a bunch of morons.
SCOTUS sided 7:2 for Pedro. That “questions of law” in the code, which would give him relief, includes the establishment of certain facts, such as the equitable tolling in question. Thomas and Alito dissented.