Immigration Courts

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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The Justice Department Is Halting Its Legal Advice Program for Detained Immigrants

The Justice Department Is Halting Its Legal Advice Program for Detained Immigrants

In its latest attack on due process and access to counsel in the immigration court system, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has decided to suspend its Legal Orientation Program (LOP) despite its demonstrated ability to increase efficiencies in the nation’s horribly backlogged immigration courts. According to the Washington Post, EOIR (the Department of […]

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Immigration Judge Quotas Could Result in Assembly Line Justice

Immigration Judge Quotas Could Result in Assembly Line Justice

In a controversial move, the Department of Justice recently announced new case completion quotas for immigration judges. These new quotas will result in time constraints and pressure for judges to reach decisions quickly, impacting individuals’ ability to have a fair day in court. The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), the DOJ component that runs […]

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Supreme Court Finds No Right to a Bond Hearing Under Immigration Law

Supreme Court Finds No Right to a Bond Hearing Under Immigration Law

Indefinitely detained immigrants facing possible deportation lost ground in their fight for the right to a bond hearing following a Supreme Court decision on Tuesday. Their sole remaining weapon is the U.S. Constitution. The ruling by Justice Samuel Alito in Jennings v. Rodriguez reverses a decision that had required the government to give certain immigrants […]

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Trump’s Budget Proposal Would Increase Harsh Immigration Enforcement

Trump’s Budget Proposal Would Increase Harsh Immigration Enforcement

President Trump released his formal budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, which doubles down on his aggressive immigration enforcement agenda. The proposed budget seeks to fund the border wall, as well as increase funding for immigration enforcement, detention, and deportations. Much of it mirrors the yet-to-be-passed FY 2018 funding request, which has […]

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