Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
- Primary Source: Full information about EOIR’s response to COVID-19 can be found on its dedicated webpage.
- Non-Detained Cases: Hearings scheduled Feb. 8, 2022 and beyond are proceeding as scheduled, subject to local operational and case-specific decisions. Operational status updates for EOIR can be found here.
- Generally since July 6, 2021, all immigration courts are holding limited hearings, applying relevant federal best practices related to communicable disease. Check the immigration court operational status map or the automated case information portal for additional information. Updated guidance on health protocols taken at immigration courts is available here.
- Recognition and Accreditation: Organizations filing R&A applications may file them electronically by email to R-A-Info@usdoj.gov. DOJ will accept digital and electronic signatures on all applications regardless of method of submission, as well as electronically reproduced digital, electronic, or wet signatures. The announcement defines digital and electronic signatures and lists requirements; please review the requirements to ensure compliance. Applicants must keep original copies of all documents submitted by email and be prepared to produce them for EOIR upon request.
- Signatures: EOIR policy memo notes that it will accept digital and electronic signatures on all documents filed with immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA. EOIR will also accept electronically- reproduced copies of documents containing digital, electronic or “wet” signatures.
- Filing by Email: As of Sep. 4, 2021, filing by email is no longer accepted at any immigration court.
- Telephonic or Webex Appearances: Various immigration courts have issued Standing Orders addressing telephonic appearances and motions for continuances. Check the Operational Status Map to review the most up-to-date of local court Standing Orders.
- Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP): Although DHS previously indicated its intent to terminate the MPP program and began "phasing in" individuals subject to the program in 2021, the administration is currently under an injunction to reimplement MPP pending federal litigation. Therefore, on Dec. 2, 2021, DHS announced its preparations to re-implement MPP, along with a guidance memo on the structure of the program as implemented. Individuals seeking asylum at the border can therefore expect to be placed in the program and returned to Mexico, absent certain determinations as outlined by the memo.
- Title 42: On March 20, 2020, the CDC under the Trump administration issued an order pursuant to its public health authority under Title 42, allowing DHS to exclude anyone from the United States — without regard for claims for asylum or the need of protection — to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States. The Biden administration has continued to carry out expulsions based on this order.
- On Sept. 16, 2021, a U.S. District Court Judge enjoined the Biden administration from continuing the enforcement of the DCD's Title 42 order, with the injunction being set to go into effect on Sept. 30, 2021.
- On Sep. 30, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted the government's motion for a stay pending appeal, thus allowing the government to continue expelling vulnerable families from the United States under its Title 42 policy. Oral arguments are to be held in January 2022.
Check the automated case information portal for additional information.
CLINIC Affiliates: If you are a CLINIC Affiliate and need assistance resolving issues in a case, please contact our Training and Legal Support team by submitting a question to Ask the Experts at cliniclegal.org/find-legal-help/ask-experts. If you have exhausted your case resolution options for a pending case you can also contact our Advocacy team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact advocacy if you are encountering issues in your practice that are not addressed by measures taken by federal agencies.