CLINIC Amicus Brief on the Recognition & Accreditation (R&A) Program
The Recognition & Accreditation (R&A) program governs how nonprofit organizations provide charitable immigration legal services. Nonprofits that meet certain requirements apply for recognition and non-attorney staff members may apply for accreditation after completing rigorous training focused on immigration law. Accredited individuals can help clients with immigration matters before government agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the asylum office. Certain accredited representatives may represent clients in immigration court. CLINIC’s network of affiliate organizations represents more than one-third of recognized agencies.
The Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review solicited amicus curiae briefs on questions relating to the R&A program on February 21, 2020. The EOIR Director posed four questions on the interpretation of regulations pertaining to the recognition of organizations and accreditation of non-attorney representatives. As a longtime advocate for a fair R&A Program, CLINIC submitted an amicus brief to the EOIR Director on March 13, 2020, providing answers to these questions.