Immigration Courts

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

Recent Features

All Immigration Courts Content

February 21, 2019

A FOIA request has forced the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to produce its comprehensive plan for reducing the immigration court backlog. Though partially redacted, the aim of the...

January 30, 2019

Immigration restrictionists have often repeated a bold and erroneous claim: that there is a serious problem of asylum seekers who come to the U.S. border and disappear once released from detention...

January 25, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to immediately launch a new policy to force asylum-seeking migrants to wait in Mexico for their immigration court hearing. Officially...

January 14, 2019

With the government shutdown dragging into its fourth week—marking the longest shutdown in U.S. history—most of the nation’s immigration courts remain closed. The Trump administration decries...

January 7, 2019

As the Trump administration continues to strip away due process in immigration courts, the recent creation of two “Immigration Adjudication Centers” is cause for concern. The two new facilities...

December 19, 2018

  In the first two years of the Trump administration, immigration hardliners made repeated attempts to reduce immigration court backlogs, from hiring nearly100 new immigration judges to limiting...

December 10, 2018

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in C.J.L.G. v. Whitaker, a case that addresses whether children facing deportation have the right to a court-appointed attorney....

December 3, 2018

Following Jeff Sessions’ resignation as Attorney General, President Trump named Matthew Whitaker to replace him—a move that has already inspired multiple lawsuits that contend the designation was...

October 12, 2018

Overwhelmed immigration courts and massive court backlogs have long been a nation-wide problem. Hearings are regularly scheduled years in advance—in some jurisdictions, judges are scheduling...

October 1, 2018

On October 1, immigration judges around the country will arrive at work and face a daunting new task; complete 700 removal cases in the next year or risk official sanction. The new court quotas...

September 17, 2012

American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling
Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

May 31, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center released a report and filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on the pressing issue of non

April 23, 2012

Washington, D.C.—On Friday, the American Immigration Council challenged a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruling that immigrants who are arrested without a warra

December 15, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center, along with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), filed an amicus brief yesterday urging the Fifth Cir

August 15, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council strongly condemns last week’s ruling from the Board of Immigra

June 24, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) cautiously applauds last week’s

May 18, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center commends Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for con

March 30, 2011

Washington D.C. - In a continuing effort to protect the right to judicial review and promote greater federal court oversight of immigration decisions, the American Immigration Coun

April 28, 2020
Today’s Court decision denying the emergency temporary restraining order in NIPNLG, et al., v. EOIR, et al., is deeply disappointing. This lawsuit was brought against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 22, 2020
This practice advisory discusses the standards of review that the Board of Immigration Appeals is required to employ when it reviews appeals of immigration judge decisions.
April 8, 2020
Immigration groups moved for an emergency temporary restraining order against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in order to protect the health of immigration attorneys, immigrants, and the public from the impact of dangerous and unconstitutional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 1, 2020

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads and entire states go into quarantine, immigrants and their attorneys are still being forced to gather in cramped immigration courtrooms inside detention...

The Council filed a lawsuit to close the immigration courts and ensure due process.
March 30, 2020
This lawsuit demands the government take immediate actions to prioritize the health and safety of attorneys and clients at risk in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 23, 2020
In a letter calling for prioritizing the health and safety of government employees, detained individuals, and their legal representatives amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, together with the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and more than 100 other organizations, urged the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to immediately authorize the robust and automatic use of remote options for immigration court appearances and attorney-client meetings.
March 19, 2020
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court to compel the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy to release records about the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s hiring procedures for appellate immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals Members. The lawsuit seeks to understand current hiring procedures for the BIA—the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws—after reports came to light of anti-immigrant bias in the hiring process.
March 17, 2020

The Trump administration has steadily implemented initiatives to restructure the immigration court system without providing much information to the public. The lack of government transparency...

The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) seeking information relating to the expansion and...

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