Resources on Removal Proceedings

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The U.S. Supreme Court held in Pereira v. Sessions that service of a defective Notice to Appear does not cut off eligibility for cancellation of removal. This practice advisory provides practitioners with strategies and considerations based on the holding and rationale in Pereira v. Sessions. CLINIC and the American Immigration Council drafted the original version of this practice advisory in 2018. CLINIC updated this practice advisory in December 2019.

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Individuals seeking to reopen their immigration proceedings after departing or being removed from the United States face significant hurdles. This practice advisory, co-authored with the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, provides information on the legal issues surrounding post-departure motions to reopen or reconsider and includes a chart of principal cases by circuit court.

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On August 16, 2019, the Executive Office for Immigration Review issued a memo limiting the types of cases that an immigration judge may place on a status docket while a noncitizen is waiting for some event to occur that will impact the removal proceedings. The policy may make it more difficult for some respondents to seek immigration relief while in removal proceedings, especially relief before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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CLINIC submitted comments addressing a series of questions posed by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (immigration court) in response to the NWIRP v. Sessions litigation. CLINIC's comments focus on the need for expanding access to counsel and suggest that allowing limited appearances may help noncitizens who would otherwise have no counsel. CLINIC will continue to track this issue and submit further comments once the government issues a proposed rule.

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This practice pointer provides a summary and analysis of USCIS's June 28, 2018 policy memo which expands the situations in which USCIS will issue a Notice to Appear in connection with adjudicating a request for immigration benefits.

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This practice advisory provides practitioners guidance on Matter of L-A-B-R-, a decision issued on August 16, 2018. In L-A-B-R-, former Attorney General Jeff Session addressed the factors that an IJ must consider when a respondent requests a continuance in order “to await the resolution of a collateral matter.” This practice advisory suggests strategies practitioners may use to fight for continuances for their clients.

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On November 15, 2018, USCIS conducted its second stakeholder call addressing the incremental implementation of the June 28, 2018 USCIS Policy Memo on Notice to Appear Issuance (NTA PM).

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As the future of DACA recipients remains uncertain, practitioners who work with DACA recipients should explore permanent relief options for this vulnerable population. One such permanent relief option is non-LPR cancellation under INA § 240A(b), which provides a path to lawful permanent residency to certain non-citizens placed in removal proceedings.

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October 5, 2018

On June 28, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum that would expand the types of cases where USCIS will issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) in the course of adjudicating an application, petition, or request for an immigration benefit.

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On Sept. 18, 2018, Attorney General (AG) Jefferson Sessions, in two cases he referred to himself, held that immigration judges (IJs) may dismiss or terminate removal proceedings only where the regulations expressly allow or if the charges of removability against a respondent have not been sustained. Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018).

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In late August, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA, issued a precedential decision, Matter of Bermudez-Cota, 27 I&N Dec. 441 (BIA 2018), which interprets the scope of the recent Supreme Court decision in Pereira v. Sessions, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018). Bermudez-Cota limits the application of Pereira’s holding to the stop-time rule in cancellation of removal cases. Bermudez-Cota’s narrow interpretation of Pereira is certain to lead to further federal litigation.

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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.

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service issued new policy guidance on June 28, 2018, outlining when to issue a Notice to Appear, or NTA, against a removable noncitizen. Overall, the guidance dramatically increases the situations that will trigger when an NTA is issued by USCIS, and will likely lead to more people being placed in removal proceedings.

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The Supreme Court issued a decision in Pereira v. Sessions, No. 17-459, --S. Ct. -- 2018 WL 3058276 (U.S. June 21, 2018) on June 21, 2018, which could make cancellation of removal available to many noncitizens who were previously foreclosed from this form of relief.

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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.

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The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. Practitioners representing DACA recipients must consider permanent relief options in each DACA client’s case and prepare for the possibility of removal proceedings. These practice advisories provide practitioners guidance on immigration law matters relevant to DACA recipients.

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The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. Practitioners representing DACA recipients must consider permanent relief options in each DACA client’s case and prepare for the possibility of removal proceedings. These practice advisories provide practitioners guidance on immigration law matters relevant to DACA recipients.

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The U.S. government has issued in absentia removal orders to a large number of families primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These families fled persecution and sought safety in the United States often proving they had a credible fear of returning to their home country.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision in Matter of Castro-Tum on May 17, 2018, that revoked immigration judges’ and the Board of Immigration Appeals’ authority to temporarily close cases without deciding them.

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Attorney General Sessions requested briefing from amici in the case of Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 187 (A.G. 2018).  In response to this request, CLINIC and Matthew Hoppock filed this amicus brief on February 16, 2018.

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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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U.S. Immigration Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal for your reference.

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