- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court has struck down a law that allows immigration officials to deny people relief from deportation for being habitually drunk.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday habitual drunkenness is the same as chronic alcoholism - a medical condition. The court said a medical condition can’t be used as an example of bad character to deny people relief from deportation orders.

It tossed out an immigration board’s decision not to cancel a Mexican national’s deportation and sent the case back to the board for reevaluation. The court said the government’s argument that alcoholics lack the will to overcome their disease was outdated and had deplorable implications.

Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, said the office does not comment on court decisions.

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