Resources on Immigration Judge Issues

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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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The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently held that immigration judges (IJs) have the authority to deny an application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the exercise of discretion. Matter of D-A-C-, 27 I&N Dec. 575 (BIA 2019).

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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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