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

March 10, 2017

The Atlanta immigration court is known as one of the worst places to be in deportation proceedings. For years, the judges have been accused of abusive and unprofessional practices and the denial...

February 9, 2017

Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General this week by a vote of 52-47, following a very contentious confirmation process. As Attorney General and head of the Department of Justice (DOJ),...

February 3, 2017

The Trump administration released a memorandum this week–effective immediately–which orders the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (which manages the immigration courts...

January 31, 2017

The fallout continues from last week’s immigration executive order, which has been coined the “Muslim Ban.” Several lawsuits have been filed to challenge the executive order, including Ali v....

January 12, 2017

Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated to be Attorney General by President-elect Donald Trump, endured a 10-and-a-half-hour confirmation hearing this week where he answered questions on a...

December 20, 2016

Entire jurisdictions in the United States have become so hostile to asylum seekers and their representatives that the U.S. government, and its immigration court system, is failing to deliver on...

November 18, 2016
Senator Sessions has led the fight against immigration reform at every turn during his 20 years in the Senate.
November 16, 2016

For more than a decade, the immigration court system has struggled with an enormous backlog. The latest figures from  (TRAC) record the backlog at an all-time high of 521,676 as of the end of...

September 29, 2016

In 2014, a legal challenge was mounted against the federal government for its failure to provide legal representation to indigent children in deportation proceedings. The case, F.L.B.. v. Lynch...

September 28, 2016

Nationally, only 37 percent of all immigrants had legal representation, and only 14 percent of immigrants in detention had a lawyer. In a paper issued today, Access to Counsel in Immigration Court...

July 3, 2019

Attorney General William Barr announced in April 2019 plans to eliminate bond hearings for immigrants who pass an asylum screening interview after entering the United States. This would have...

July 3, 2019
Immigration courts must continue to provide bond hearings to individuals fleeing persecution who enter the United States without inspection, are placed in expedited removal proceedings, and pass their credible fear interviews.
May 2, 2019
The American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and The American Civil Liberties Union, filed a proposed amended complaint in federal court today in order to challenge the Trump administration’s new policy that categorically denies bond hearings to asylum seekers. The policy, announced April 16 by Attorney General William Barr, targets asylum seekers whom immigration officers previously determined have a “credible fear” of persecution or torture if returned to the places they fled.
May 1, 2019

President Trump is calling for new regulations that will target asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. These new rules would accelerate court hearings, limit options for relief, create...

April 16, 2019
In a decision today, Attorney General William Barr ruled that individuals with valid protection asylum claims who entered between ports of entry no longer are eligible for release on bond by an immigration judge. The decision could result in the unnecessary detention of thousands more individuals each year, despite the enormous financial and human costs. With the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the ACLU, the American Immigration Council intends to challenge the new decision.
April 9, 2019

Asylum seekers are often imprisoned in immigration detention for weeks or months before they can ask a judge to release them, even though they’re entitled to bond hearings. But this injustice may...

April 5, 2019
In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge in Seattle dealt a blow to the government’s campaign to deter and obstruct asylum seekers applying for protection in the United States. Judge Marsha Pechman ordered the government to provide certain individuals with bona fide asylum claims either a bond hearing before an immigration judge within seven days of their request or to release them from detention.
April 3, 2019

Texas—and specifically El Paso—has been ground zero for many of the incredibly harmful policies introduced under the Trump administration, such as family separation, returning asylum seekers to...

April 3, 2019
The complaint demands an immediate investigation into systemic due process concerns at the El Paso Service Processing Center (SPC) immigration court in El Paso, Texas.

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