Immigration Courts

Immigration Judges’ Union Fights for Judicial Independence

Immigration Judges’ Union Fights for Judicial Independence

The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), the union that represents the nation’s immigration judges, is challenging the government’s decision to remove an immigration judge from a well-known case and replace him with a judge who immediately ordered the immigrant in the case deported. NAIJ’s grievance addresses the treatment of one immigration judge, but its […]

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DHS to Restart Deportation Cases for Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants

DHS to Restart Deportation Cases for Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants

Recently released internal communications at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reveal a plan to restart the deportation cases of hundreds of thousands of people whose cases are currently administratively closed. This initiative has the potential to swell the immigration court backlog (currently at 730,000 cases) to over one million cases. Administrative closure is a docket-management […]

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Immigration Judges Are Rejecting More Asylum Requests Under the Trump Administration

Immigration Judges Are Rejecting More Asylum Requests Under the Trump Administration

The Trump administration is working hard to undermine the asylum system through additional and unnecessary barriers, making it more difficult for those seeking refuge in the United States to be granted asylum. This is an ominous trend given that the U.S. government’s decision to either grant or reject an asylum request can be a life-or-death […]

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Federal Audit Outlines Lasting Impacts of Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

Federal Audit Outlines Lasting Impacts of Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

President Trump wasted no time after assuming office in signing three executive orders which fundamentally changed the nature of immigration enforcement in the United States: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements; Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States; and Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States (commonly known […]

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USCIS Is Slowly Being Morphed Into an Immigration Enforcement Agency

USCIS Is Slowly Being Morphed Into an Immigration Enforcement Agency

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new guidance to initiate deportation proceedings for thousands of applicants denied for any immigration benefit. This policy change will have far-reaching implications for many of those interacting with the agency, but also signals a major shift in how USCIS operates. USCIS was never meant to be tasked with […]

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Immigration Courts Are Rolling out an Electronic Filing Pilot Program in July

Immigration Courts Are Rolling out an Electronic Filing Pilot Program in July

The immigration court system will begin to roll out an electronic filing pilot program in six immigration courts on July 16 this year, representing an important advancement for these courts that still heavily rely on paper documentation. Currently, immigration courts generally do not permit any electronic filing. Instead, immigrants and their attorneys must submit documents […]

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Supreme Court Decision May Make Some Eligible for Relief From Deportation

Supreme Court Decision May Make Some Eligible for Relief From Deportation

In an 8-1 decision on June 21, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an individual previously prevented from applying for a type of relief from deportation known as cancellation of removal. In Pereira v. Sessions, the Court rejected the government’s practice of placing noncitizens in immigration proceedings based on a charging document that does […]

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Sessions Ends Administrative Closure at the Expense of Due Process in Immigration Court

Sessions Ends Administrative Closure at the Expense of Due Process in Immigration Court

Altering decades of practice in immigration court and placing immense pressure on an overburdened immigration court system, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision in an immigration case on Thursday declaring immigration judges do not have general authority to administratively close cases. The decision applies nationwide—though we can expect it will be challenged in the […]

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Justice Department Will Not Halt Legal Orientation Program for Detained Immigrants, Reversing Course for Now

Justice Department Will Not Halt Legal Orientation Program for Detained Immigrants, Reversing Course for Now

Just two weeks after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a suspension of the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified today that DOJ will reverse course and continue the program—at least for now. The announcement was made while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, which oversees the […]

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Department of Justice Ignores Its Own Evaluators’ Recommendations on Immigration Courts

Department of Justice Ignores Its Own Evaluators’ Recommendations on Immigration Courts

A newly-released document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is making radical changes to the immigration court system that deliberately contradict the recommendations given to the department by its own independent evaluators. The recommendations were made in an April 2017 Booz Allen Hamilton report commissioned by […]

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