NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
WESCLEY FONSECA PEREIRA, PETITIONER v.
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, ATTORNEY GENERAL
on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the first circuit
[June 21, 2018]
Justice Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the Court.
Nonpermanent residents, like petitioner here, who are subject to removal proceedings and have accrued 10 years of continuous physical presence in the United States, may be eligible for a form of discretionary relief known as cancellation of removal.
8 U. S. C. §1229b(b)(1). Under the so-called “stop-time rule” set forth in §1229b(d)(1)(A), however, that period of continuous physical presence is “deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a notice to appear under section 1229(a).” Section 1229(a), in turn, provides that the Government shall serve noncitizens in removal proceedings with “written notice (in this section referred to as a ‘notice to appear’) . . . specifying” several required pieces of information, including “[t]he time and place at which the [removal] proceedings will be held.” §1229(a)(1)(G)(i).[1
The narrow question in this case lies at the intersection
of those statutory provisions. If the Government serves a noncitizen with a document that is labeled “notice to appear,” but the document fails to specify either the time or place of the removal proceedings, does it trigger the stop-time rule? The answer is as obvious as it seems: No. A notice that does not inform a noncitizen when and where to appear for removal proceedings is not a “notice to appear under section 1229(a)” and therefore does not trigger the stop-time rule. The plain text, the statutory context, and common sense all lead inescapably and unambiguously to that conclusion.
Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA),
3009–546, the Attorney General of the United States has discretion to “cancel removal” and adjust the status of certain nonpermanent residents. §1229b(b). To be eligible for such relief, a nonpermanent resident must meet certain enumerated criteria, the relevant one here being that the noncitizen must have “been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of [an] application” for cancellation of removal. §1229b(b)(1)(A).[2
IIRIRA also established the stop-time rule at issue in this case. Under that rule, “any period of . . . continuous physical presence in the United States shall be deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a notice to appear under section 1229(a) of this title.”[3
] §1229b(d)(1)(A). Section 1229(a), in turn, provides that “written notice (in this section referred to as a ‘notice to appear’) shall be given . . . to the alien . . . specifying”:
“(A) The nature of the proceedings against the alien.
“(B) The legal authority under which the proceedings are conducted.
“(C) The acts or conduct alleged to be in violation of law.
“(D) The charges against the alien and the statutory provisions alleged to have been violated.
“(E) The alien may be represented by counsel and the alien will be provided (i) a period of time to secure counsel under subsection (b)(1) of this section and (ii) a current list of counsel prepared under subsection (b)(2) of this section.
“(F)(i) The requirement that the alien must immediately provide (or have provided) the Attorney General with a written record of an address and telephone number (if any) at which the alien may be contacted respecting proceedings under section 1229a of this title.
“(ii) The requirement that the alien must provide the Attorney General immediately with a written record of any change of the alien’s address or telephone number.
“(iii) The consequences under section 1229a(b)(5) of this title of failure to provide address and telephone information pursuant to this subparagraph.
“(G)(i) The time and place at which the [removal] proceedings will be held.
“(ii) The consequences under section 1229a(b)(5) of this title of the failure, except under exceptional cir-
cumstances, to appear at such proceedings.” §1229(a)(1) (boldface added).
The statute also enables the Government to “change or postpon[e] . . . the time and place of [the removal] proceedings.” §1229(a)(2)(A). To do so, the Government must give the noncitizen “a written notice . . . specifying . . . the new time or place of the proceedings” and “the consequences . . . of failing, except under exceptional circumstances, to attend such proceedings.” Ibid.
The Government is not required to provide written notice of the change in time or place of the proceedings if the noncitizen is “not in detention” and “has failed to provide [his] address” to the Government. §1229(a)(2)(B).
The consequences of a noncitizen’s failure to appear at a removal proceeding can be quite severe. If a noncitizen who has been properly served with the “written notice required under paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a)” fails to appear at a removal proceeding, he “shall be ordered removed in absentia” if the Government “establishes by clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence that the written notice was so provided and that the alien is removable.” §1229a(b)(5)(A). Absent “exceptional circumstances,” a noncitizen subject to an in absentia removal order is ineligible for some forms of discretionary relief for 10 years if, “at the time of the notice described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a),” he “was provided oral notice . . . of the time and place of the proceedings and of the consequences” of failing to appear. §1229a(b)(7). In certain limited circumstances, however, a removal order entered in absentia may be rescinded—e.g.,
when the noncitizen “demonstrates that [he] did not receive notice in accordance with paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a).” §1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii).
In 1997, shortly after Congress passed IIRIRA, the Attorney General promulgated a regulation stating that a “notice to appear” served on a noncitizen need only provide “the time, place and date of the initial removal hearing, where practicable.
” 62 Fed. Reg. 10332 (1997). Per that regulation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), at least in recent years, almost always serves noncitizens with notices that fail to specify the time, place, or date of initial removal hearings whenever the agency deems it impracticable to include such information. See Brief for Petitioner 14; Brief for Respondent 48–49; Tr. of Oral Arg. 52–53 (Government’s admission that “almost 100 percent” of “notices to appear omit the time and date of the proceeding over the last three years”). Instead, these notices state that the times, places, or dates of the initial hearings are “to be determined.” Brief for Petitioner 14.
In Matter of Camarillo
, 25 I. & N. Dec. 644 (2011), the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) addressed whether such notices trigger the stop-time rule even if they do not specify the time and date of the removal proceedings. The BIA concluded that they do. Id.,
at 651. It reasoned that the statutory phrase “notice to appear ‘under section (a)’ ” in the stop-time rule “merely specifies the document the DHS must serve on the alien to trigger the ‘stop-time’ rule,” but otherwise imposes no “substantive requirements” as to what information that document must include to trigger the stop-time rule. Id.,
Petitioner Wescley Fonseca Pereira is a native and citizen of Brazil. In 2000, at age 19, he was admitted to the United States as a temporary “non-immigrant visitor.” App. to Pet. for Cert. 3a. After his visa expired, he remained in the United States. Pereira is married and has two young daughters, both of whom are United States citizens. He works as a handyman and, according to submissions before the Immigration Court, is a well-respected member of his community.
In 2006, Pereira was arrested in Massachusetts for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. On May 31, 2006, while Pereira was detained, DHS served him (in person) with a document labeled “Notice to Appear.” App. 7–13. That putative notice charged Pereira as removable for overstaying his visa, informed him that “removal proceedings” were being initiated against him, and provided him with information about the “[c]onduct of the hearing” and the consequences for failing to appear. Id.
7, 10–12. Critical here, the notice did not specify the date and time of Pereira’s removal hearing. Instead, it ordered him to appear before an Immigration Judge in Boston “on a date to be set
at a time to be set
(underlining in original).
More than a year later, on August 9, 2007, DHS filed the 2006 notice with the Boston Immigration Court. The Immigration Court thereafter attempted to mail Pereira a more specific notice setting the date and time for his initial removal hearing for October 31, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. But that second notice was sent to Pereira’s street address rather than his post office box (which he had provided to DHS), so it was returned as undeliverable. Because Pe- reira never received notice of the time and date of his re- moval hearing, he failed to appear, and the Immigration Court ordered him removed in absentia. Unaware of that re- moval order, Pereira remained in the United States.
In 2013, after Pereira had been in the country for more than 10 years, he was arrested for a minor motor vehicle violation (driving without his headlights on) and was subsequently detained by DHS. The Immigration Court reopened the removal proceedings after Pereira demonstrated that he never received the Immigration Court’s 2007 notice setting out the specific date and time of his hearing. Pereira then applied for cancellation of removal, arguing that the stop-time rule was not triggered by DHS’ initial 2006 notice because the document lacked information about the time and date of his removal hearing.
The Immigration Court disagreed, finding the law “quite settled that DHS need not put a date certain on the Notice to Appear in order to make that document effective.” App. to Pet. for Cert. 23a. The Immigration Court therefore concluded that Pereira could not meet the 10-year physical-presence requirement under §1229b(b), thereby render- ing him statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal, and ordered Pereira removed from the country. The BIA dismissed Pereira’s appeal. Adhering to its precedent in Camarillo
the BIA agreed with the Immigration Court that the 2006 notice triggered the stop-time rule and that Pereira thus failed to satisfy the 10-year physical-presence requirement and was ineligible for cancellation of removal.
The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit denied Pereira’s petition for review of the BIA’s order. 866 F. 3d 1 (2017). Applying the framework set forth in Chevron U. S. A. Inc.
v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
467 U. S. 837 (1984), the Court of Appeals first found that the stop-time rule in §1229b(d)(1) is ambiguous because it “does not explicitly state that the date and time of the hearing must be included in a notice to appear in order to cut off an alien’s period of continuous physical presence.” 866 F. 3d, at 5. Then, after reviewing the statutory text and structure, the administrative context, and pertinent legislative history, the Court of Appeals held that the BIA’s interpretation of the stop-time rule was a permissible reading of the statute. Id.,
The Court granted certiorari in this case, 583 U. S. ___ (2018), to resolve division among the Courts of Appeals on a simple, but important, question of statutory interpretation: Does service of a document styled as a “notice to appear” that fails to specify “the items listed” in §1229(a)(1) trigger the stop-time rule?[4
] Pet. for Cert. i.
As a threshold matter, the Court notes that the question presented by Pereira, which focuses on all “items listed” in §1229(a)(1), sweeps more broadly than necessary to resolve the particular case before us. Although the time-and-place information in a notice to appear will vary from case to case, the Government acknowledges that “[m]uch of the information Section 1229(a)(1) calls for does not” change and is therefore “included in standardized language on the I–862 notice-to-appear form.” Brief for Respondent 36 (referencing 8 U. S. C. §§1229(a)(1)(A)–(B), (E)–(F), and (G)(ii)). In fact, the Government’s 2006 notice to Pereira included all of the information required by §1229(a)(1), except it failed to specify the date and time of Pereira’s removal proceedings. See App. 10–12. Accordingly, the dispositive question in this case is much narrower, but no less vital: Does a “notice to appear” that does not specify the “time and place at which the proceedings will be held,” as required by §1229(a)(1)(G)(i), trigger the stop-time rule?[5
In addressing that narrower question, the Court need not resort to Chevron
deference, as some lower courts have done, for Congress has supplied a clear and unambiguous answer to the interpretive question at hand. See 467 U. S., at 842–843 (“If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress”). A putative notice to appear that fails to designate the specific time or place of the noncitizen’s removal proceedings is not a “notice to appear under section 1229(a),” and so does not trigger the stop-time rule.
The statutory text alone is enough to resolve this case. Under the stop-time rule, “any period of . . . continuous physical presence” is “deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a notice to appear under section 1229(a).”
8 U. S. C. §1229b(d)(1). By expressly referencing §1229(a), the statute specifies where to look to find out what “notice to appear” means. Section 1229(a), in turn, clarifies that the type of notice “referred to as a ‘notice to appear’ ” throughout the statutory section is a “written notice . . . specifying,” as relevant here, “[t]he time and place at which the [removal] proceedings will be held.” §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Thus, based on the plain text of the statute, it is clear that to trigger the stop-time rule, the Government must serve a notice to appear that, at the very least, “specif[ies]” the “time and place” of the removal proceedings.
It is true, as the Government and dissent point out, that the stop-time rule makes broad reference to a notice to
appear under “section 1229(a),” which includes paragraph (1), as well as paragraphs (2) and (3). See Brief for Respondent 27–28; post,
at 5–6 (opinion of Alito, J.). But the broad reference to §1229(a) is of no consequence, because, as even the Government concedes, only paragraph (1) bears on the meaning of a “notice to appear.” Brief for Respondent 27. By contrast, paragraph (2) governs the “[n]otice of change in time or place of proceedings,” and paragraph (3) provides for a system to record noncitizens’ addresses and phone numbers. Nowhere else within §1229(a) does the statute purport to delineate the requirements of a “notice to appear.” In fact, the term “notice to appear” appears only in paragraph (1) of §1229(a).
If anything, paragraph (2) of §1229(a) actually bolsters the Court’s interpretation of the statute. Paragraph (2) provides that, “in the case of any change or postponement in the time and place of [removal] proceedings,” the Government shall give the noncitizen “written notice . . . specifying . . . the new time or place of the proceedings.” §1229(a)(2)(A)(i). By allowing for a “change or postponement” of the proceedings to a “new
time or place,” paragraph (2) presumes that the Government has already served a “notice to appear under section 1229(a)” that specified a time and place as required by §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Otherwise, there would be no time or place to “change or postpon[e ].” §1229(a)(2). Notably, the dissent concedes that paragraph (2) confirms that a notice to appear must “state the ‘time and place’ of the removal proceeding as required by §1229(a)(1).’ ” Post,
The dissent nevertheless retorts that this point is “entirely irrelevant.” Ibid.
Not so. Paragraph (2) clearly reinforces the conclusion that “a notice to appear under section 1229(a),” §1229b(d)(1), must include at least the time and place of the removal proceedings to trigger the stop-time rule.
Another neighboring statutory provision lends further contextual support for the view that a “notice to appear” must include the time and place of the removal proceedings to trigger the stop-time rule. Section 1229(b)(1) gives a noncitizen “the opportunity to secure counsel before the first [removal] hearing date” by mandating that such “hearing date shall not be scheduled earlier than 10 days after the service of the notice to appear.” For §1229(b)(1) to have any meaning, the “notice to appear” must specify the time and place that the noncitizen, and his counsel, must appear at the removal hearing. Otherwise, the Government could serve a document labeled “notice to appear” without listing the time and location of the hearing and then, years down the line, provide that information a day before the removal hearing when it becomes available. Under that view of the statute, a noncitizen theoretically would have had the “opportunity to secure counsel,” but that opportunity will not be meaningful if, given the absence of a specified time and place, the noncitizen has minimal time and incentive to plan accordingly, and his counsel, in turn, receives limited notice and time to prepare adequately. It therefore follows that, if a “notice to appear” for purposes of §1229(b)(1) must include the time-and-place information, a “notice to appear” for purposes of the stop-time rule under §1229b(d)(1) must as well. After all, “it is a normal rule of statutory construction that identical words used in different parts of the same act are intended to have the same meaning.” Taniguchi
v. Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd.
566 U. S. 560, 571 (2012) (internal quotation marks omitted).[6
Finally, common sense compels the conclusion that a notice that does not specify when and where to appear for a removal proceeding is not a “notice to appear” that triggers the stop-time rule. If the three words “notice to appear” mean anything in this context, they must mean that, at a minimum, the Government has to provide noncitizens “notice” of the information, i.e.,
the “time” and “place,” that would enable them “to appear” at the removal hearing in the first place. Conveying such time-and-place information to a noncitizen is an essential function of a notice to appear, for without it, the Government cannot reason- ably expect the noncitizen to appear for his removal proceedings. To hold otherwise would empower the Government to trigger the stop-time rule merely by sending noncitizens a barebones document labeled “Notice to Appear,” with no mention of the time and place of the removal proceedings, even though such documents would do little if anything to facilitate appearance at those proceedings.[7
] “ ‘We are not willing to impute to Congress . . . such [a] contradictory and absurd purpose,’ ” United States
339 U. S. 323, 342 (1950), particularly where doing so has no basis in the statutory text.
Straining to inject ambiguity into the statute, the Government and the dissent advance several overlapping arguments. None is persuasive.
First, the Government posits that §1229(a) “is not worded in the form of a definition” and thus cannot circum- scribe what type of notice counts as a “notice to appear” for purposes of the stop-time rule. Brief for Respondent 32. Section 1229(a), however, does speak in definitional terms, at least with respect to the “time and place at which the proceedings will be held”: It specifically provides that the notice described under paragraph (1) is “referred to as a ‘notice to appear,’ ” which in context is quintessential definitional language.[8
] It then defines that term as a “written notice” that, as relevant here, “specif[ies] . . . [t]he time and place at which the [removal] proceedings will be held.” §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Thus, when the term “notice to appear” is used elsewhere in the statutory section, including as the trigger for the stop-time rule, it carries with it the substantive time-and-place criteria required by §1229(a).
Resisting this straightforward understanding of the text, the dissent posits that “§1229(a)(1)’s language can be understood to define what makes a notice to appear complete
, at 10 (emphasis in original). In the dissent’s view, a defective notice to appear is still a “notice to appear” even if it is incomplete—much like a three-wheeled Chevy is still a car. Post,
The statutory text proves otherwise. Section 1229(a)(1) does not say a “notice to appear” is “complete” when it specifies the time and place of the removal proceedings. Rather, it defines a “notice to appear” as a “written notice” that “specif[ies],” at a minimum, the time and place of the removal proceedings. §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Moreover, the omission of time-and-place information is not, as the dissent asserts, some trivial, ministerial defect, akin to an unsigned notice of appeal. Cf. Becker
532 U. S. 757, 763, 768 (2001). Failing to specify integral information like the time and place of removal proceedings unquestionably would “deprive [the notice to appear] of its essential character.” Post,
at 12, n. 5; see supra,
at 12–13, n. 7.[9
The Government and the dissent next contend that Congress’ use of the word “under” in the stop-time rule renders the statute ambiguous. Brief for Respondent 22–23; post,
at 4–5. Recall that the stop-time rule provides that “any period of . . . continuous physical presence” is “deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a notice to appear under section 1229(a).” §1229b(d)(1)(A). According to the Government, the word “under” in that provision means “subject to,” “governed by,” or “issued under the authority of.” Brief
for Respondent 24. The dissent offers yet another alternative, insisting that “under” can also mean “authorized by.” Post,
at 4. Those definitions, the Government and dissent maintain, support the BIA’s view that the stop-time rule applies so long as DHS serves a notice that is “authorized by,” or “subject to or governed by, or issued under the authority of” §1229(a), even if the notice bears none of the time-and-place information required by that provision. See Brief for Respondent 24; post,
We disagree. It is, of course, true that “[t]he word ‘under’ is [a] chameleon ” that “ ‘must draw its meaning from its context.’ ” Kucana
558 U. S. 233, 245 (2010) (quoting Ardestani
502 U. S. 129, 135 (1991)). But nothing in the text or context here supports either the Government’s or the dissent’s preferred definition of “under.” Based on the plain language and statutory context discussed above, we think it obvious that the word “un-
der,” as used in the stop-time rule, can only mean “in accordance with” or “according to,” for it connects the stop-time trigger in §1229b(d)(1) to a “notice to appear” that contains the enumerated time-and-place information described in §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). See 18 Oxford English Dictionary 950 (2d ed. 1989) (defining “under” as “[i]n accordance with”); Black’s Law Dictionary 1525 (6th ed. 1990) (defining “under” as “according to”). So construed, the stop-time rule applies only if the Government serves a “notice to appear” “[i]n accordance with” or “according to” the substantive time-and-place requirements set forth in §1229(a). See Kirtsaeng
v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
568 U. S. 519, 530 (2013) (internal quotation marks omitted). Far from generating any “degree of ambiguity,” post,
at 4, the word “under” provides the glue that bonds the stop-time rule to the substantive time-and-place requirements mandated by §1229(a).
The Government argues that surrounding statutory provisions reinforce its preferred reading. See Brief for Respondent 25–27. It points, for instance, to two separate provisions relating to in absentia removal orders: §1229a(b)(5)(A), which provides that a noncitizen may be removed in absentia if the Government has provided “written notice required under paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a)”; and §1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii), which provides that, once an in absentia removal order has been entered, the noncitizen may seek to reopen the proceeding if, inter alia
, he “demonstrates that [he] did not receive notice in accordance with paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a).” According to the Government, those two provisions use the distinct phrases “required under” and “in accordance with” as shorthand for a notice that satisfies §1229(a)(1)’s requirements, whereas the stop-time rule uses the phrase “under section 1229(a)” to encompass a different type of notice that does not necessarily include the information outlined in §1229(a)(1). See Brief for Respondent 25–26. That logic is unsound. The Government essentially argues that phrase 1 (“written notice required under paragraph (1) . . . of section 1229(a)”) and phrase 2 (“notice in accordance with paragraph (1) . . . of section 1229(a)”) can refer to the same type of notice even though they use entirely different words, but that phrase 3 (“notice to appear under section 1229(a)”) cannot refer to that same type of notice because it uses words different from phrases 1 and 2. But the Government offers no convincing reason why that is so. The far simpler explanation, and the one that comports with the actual statutory language and context, is that each of these three phrases refers to notice satisfying, at a minimum, the time-and-place criteria defined in §1229(a)(1).
Equally unavailing is the Government’s invocation of §1229a(b)(7). Brief for Respondent 26–27. Under that provision, a noncitizen who is ordered removed in absentia is ineligible for various forms of discretionary relief for a 10-year period if the noncitizen, “at the time of the notice described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a) of [Title 8], was provided oral notice . . . of the time and place of the proceedings” and “of the consequences . . . of failing, other than because of exceptional circumstances,” to appear. §1229a(b)(7). The Government argues that the express reference to “the time and place of the proceedings” in §1229a(b)(7) shows that, when Congress wants to attach substantive significance to whether a noncitizen is given information about the specific “time and place” of a removal proceeding, it knows exactly how to do so. Brief for Respondent 26–27. But even if §1229a(b)(7) may impose harsher consequences on noncitizens who fail to appear at removal proceedings after having specifically received oral
notice of the time and place of such proceedings, that reveals nothing about the distinct question here—i.e.,
whether Congress intended the stop-time rule to apply when the Government fails to provide written
notice of the time and place of removal proceedings. As to that question, the statute makes clear that Congress fully intended to attach substantive significance to the requirement that noncitizens be given notice of at least the time and place of their removal proceedings. A document that fails to include such information is not a “notice to appear under section 1229(a)” and thus does not trigger the stop-time rule.
Unable to find sure footing in the statutory text, the Government and the dissent pivot away from the plain language and raise a number of practical concerns. These practical considerations are meritless and do not justify departing from the statute’s clear text. See Burrage
v. United States
571 U. S. 204, 218 (2014).
The Government, for its part, argues that the “administrative realities of removal proceedings” render it difficult to guarantee each noncitizen a specific time, date, and place for his removal proceedings. See Brief for Respondent 48. That contention rests on the misguided premise that the time-and-place information specified in the notice to appear must be etched in stone. That is incorrect. As noted above, §1229(a)(2) expressly vests the Government with power to change the time or place of a noncitizen’s removal proceedings so long as it provides “written notice . . . specifying . . . the new time or place of the proceedings” and the consequences of failing to appear. See §1229(a)(2); Tr. of Oral Arg. 16–19. Nothing in our decision today inhibits the Government’s ability to exercise that statu- tory authority after it has served a notice to appear specify- ing the time and place of the removal proceedings.
The dissent raises a similar practical concern, which is similarly misplaced. The dissent worries that requiring the Government to specify the time and place of removal proceedings, while allowing the Government to change that information, might encourage DHS to provide “arbitrary dates and times that are likely to confuse and confound all who receive them.” Post,
at 8. The dissent’s argument wrongly assumes that the Government is ut- terly incapable of specifying an accurate date and time on a notice to appear and will instead engage in “arbitrary” behavior. See ibid.
The Court does not embrace those unsupported assumptions. As the Government concedes, “a scheduling system previously enabled DHS and the immigration court to coordinate in setting hearing dates in some cases.” Brief for Respondent 50, n. 15; Brief for National Immigrant Justice Center as Amicus Curiae
30–31. Given today’s advanced software capabilities, it is hard to imagine why DHS and immigration courts could not again work together to schedule hearings before sending notices to appear.
Finally, the dissent’s related contention that including a changeable date would “mislead” and “prejudice” noncitizens is unfounded. Post,
As already explained, if the Government changes the date of the removal proceedings, it must provide written notice to the noncitizen, §1229(a)(2). This notice requirement mitigates any potential confusion that may arise from altering the hearing date. In reality, it is the dissent’s interpretation of the statute that would “confuse and confound” noncitizens, post,
at 8, by authorizing the Government to serve notices that lack any information about the time and place of the removal proceedings.
In a last ditch effort to salvage its atextual interpretation, the Government invokes the alleged purpose and legislative history of the stop-time rule. Brief for Respondent 37–40. Even for those who consider statutory purpose and legislative history, however, neither supports the Government’s atextual position that Congress intended the stop-time rule to apply when a noncitizen has been deprived notice of the time and place of his removal proceedings. By the Government’s own account, Congress enacted the stop-time rule to prevent noncitizens from exploiting administrative delays to “buy time” during which they accumulate periods of continuous presence. Id.,
at 37–38 (citing H. R. Rep. No. 104–469, pt. 1, p. 122 (1996)). Requiring the Government to furnish time-and-place information in a notice to appear, however, is en- tirely consistent with that objective because, once a proper notice to appear is served, the stop-time rule is triggered, and a noncitizen would be unable to manipulate or delay removal proceedings to “buy time.” At the end of the day, given the clarity of the plain language, we “apply the statute as it is written.” Burrage
, 571 U. S., at 218.
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.