Immigration Courts

Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, the immigration system has failed to provide noncitizens with a system of justice that lives up to this standard. Learn about ways in which the immigration system could ensure that all noncitizens have a fair day in court.  

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April 23, 2018

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...

April 11, 2018

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 (...

April 4, 2018

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...

February 28, 2018

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...

February 13, 2018

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...

January 20, 2018

With the national conversation focused squarely on Dreamers, Congress was unable to find common ground on a budget deal and has shut down the U.S. Government. Congressional leadership decided not...

January 18, 2018

In a sharp departure from the practice of immigration courts around the country, immigration judges in North Carolina are refusing to conduct bond hearings for detained immigrants who come before...

January 16, 2018

In a rare move, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently referred an immigration case to himself, invoking a federal statute that allows attorneys general to reconsider cases decided by the Board...

January 5, 2018

In another victory for over 300 Iraqis whose deportation was halted last July, a Michigan district court ruled that they must be permitted to seek bond while their immigration cases are pending....

October 20, 2017

Immigrants facing deportation fare far better if they have a competent attorney representing them. For example, studies show that for asylum seekers, representation generally doubles the...

May 4, 2020
The American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council released documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act litigation revealing the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review’s updated hiring plan for immigration judges and appellate immigration judges.
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.
Publication Date: 
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...

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