The Supreme Court cleared the way for a transgender woman from Guatemala to appeal her deportation from the United States in federal court.
The woman argues that she should not have been deported back to her home country because she will face sexual discrimination and assault. She lost her appeal before an immigration court.
The majority opinion by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, will make it easier for non-citizens to challenge their removal orders in federal court even if they did not fully challenge their removal before immigration authorities.
It comes as immigration courts are already experiencing long delays and backlogs. The case does not impact the impending end of Title 42 at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The case involves Leon Santos-Zacaria, a transgender woman from Guatemala who is seeking asylum in the United States after she said she experienced sexual assault, death threats and harassment in her home country due to her sexual orientation.
Santos-Zacaria has already been removed from the US twice before and lost her bid before an immigration judge and before the board of immigration appeals. She sought to appeal her deportation before the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals but was blocked from doing so when the court said she had not exhausted remedies available to her in the immigration proceedings.
The government argued that she had not made a clear case that she would be persecuted.