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Defending Vulnerable Populations

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AG Imposes Limitations on Motions for Continuance

On August 16, 2018, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions issued Matter of L-A-B-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018), a precedent decision about how immigration judges (IJs) should decide certain motions for a continuance “to await the resolution of a collateral matter.” The decision uses the term “collateral matter” to refer to filings with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and other matters pursued outside of immigration court that could affect the outcome of the removal proceedings. Many noncitizens in removal proceedings are eligible for immigration relief that is adjudicated by USCIS, and that, if granted, would provide them with lawful status and a basis for terminating the removal proceedings.

Index of Unpublished Administrative Appeals Office Decisions on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

This index provides a catalogue of unpublished decisions by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) reviewing decisions on petitions for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). The authors reviewed the decisions available on the USCIS website, from 2005 to July 2018. The goal of this index is to assist practitioners who represent children and youth seeking SIJS.

Practice Pointer: Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018)

This practice pointer provides practitioners guidance on the Attorney General’s Matter of Castro-Tum decision issued on May 17, 2018. Matter of Castro-Tum revokes immigration judges’ and the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) general authority to administratively close cases, or temporarily close cases without deciding them, with some exceptions.

 

Denied a Day in Court: The Government’s Use of In Absentia Removal Orders Against Families Seeking Asylum

This report highlights the high rate of unrepresented families with valid asylum claims, features clients’ stories, discusses the obstacles families face in attending their immigration court hearings, explains how the immigration system fails families seeking asylum, and provides policy recommendations for how the Trump Administration and Congress can address these shortcomings.

Immigration Court Practitioner’s Guide Responding To Inappropriate Immigration Judge Conduct

As more noncitizens are targeted for the initiation of removal proceedings under the Trump administration’s broadened enforcement priorities, immigration court dockets will likely become even more backlogged. Given these strains and the reality of human fallibility, there will continue to be instances in which practitioners observe inappropriate and problematic immigration judge conduct.

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