In a case of first impression, an Eastern District federal judge has ruled that a key deportation provision of the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act is not retroactive.

U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled Friday that a criminal conviction obtained before April 1996, when the law took effect, cannot be used by the government to deny an equitable hearing to waive deportation of a foreign national who is a longtime resident of the United States.

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