Cite as: 533 U. S. 289 (2001)
Opinion of the Court
their enactment and on the availability of discretionary relief from deportation.
Respondent, Enrico St. Cyr, is a citizen of Haiti who was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1986. Ten years later, on March 8, 1996, he pleaded guilty in a state court to a charge of selling a controlled substance in violation of Connecticut law. That conviction made him deportable. Under pre-AEDPA law applicable at the time of his conviction, St. Cyr would have been eligible for a waiver of deportation at the discretion of the Attorney General. However, removal proceedings against him were not commenced until April 10, 1997, after both AEDPA and IIRIRA became effective, and, as the Attorney General interprets those statutes, he no longer has discretion to grant such a waiver.
In his habeas corpus petition, respondent has alleged that the restrictions on discretionary relief from deportation contained in the 1996 statutes do not apply to removal proceedings brought against an alien who pleaded guilty to a deportable crime before their enactment. The District Court accepted jurisdiction of his application and agreed with his submission. In accord with the decisions of four other Circuits, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed.1 229 F. 3d 406 (2000). The importance of both questions warranted our grant of certiorari. 531 U. S. 1107 (2001).
The character of the pre-AEDPA and pre-IIRIRA law that gave the Attorney General discretion to waive deportation in certain cases is relevant to our appraisal of both the substantive and the procedural questions raised by
1 See Mahadeo v. Reno, 226 F. 3d 3 (CA1 2000); Liang v. INS, 206 F. 3d 308 (CA3 2000); Tasios v. Reno, 204 F. 3d 544 (CA4 2000); FloresMiramontes v. INS, 212 F. 3d 1133 (CA9 2000). But see Max-George v. Reno, 205 F. 3d 194 (CA5 2000); Morales-Ramirez v. Reno, 209 F. 3d 977 (CA7 2000); Richardson v. Reno, 180 F. 3d 1311 (CA11 1999).
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