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What to do if you lose at the Board of Immigration Appeals


 

Question: I am so sad. I lost at the Immigration Court and then I lost at the Board of Immigration Appeals. Is there anywhere else to go and anything else I can do to try to stay here in the U.S.?

 

Answer: Yes. You are eligible to file a Petition for Review to the Circuit Court of Appeals.  Petitions for review must be filed and received by the court no later than 30 days after
the date of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) or the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This deadline is jurisdictiona.  The 30-day deadline for filing a petition for review is not extended either by filing a motion to reopen or reconsider or by the grant or extension of voluntary departure. Separate petitions for review must be filed for each BIA decision, including issues arising from the denial of a motion to reopen or reconsider.


ICE can deport an individual before the 30-day deadline to file a petition for review
Filing a petition for review does not stay the individual’s removal from the country; Instead, a separate request for a stay must be filed with the court. Filing a petition for review terminates the voluntary departure order, with one exception.  A petition for review may be litigated even if the individual has been removed. However, you probably want to stay here, so try to get the Motion to Stay promptly filed.

 

Question: That’s good to hear. However, what exactly is a ‘petition for review’?

 

Answer: A petition for review is the document filed by, or on behalf of, an individual seeking review of an agency decision in a circuit court of appeals. In the immigration context, a petition for review is filed to obtain federal court review of a removal, deportation or exclusion decision issued by the BIA. In addition, a petition for review may be filed to obtain review of a removal order issued by ICE under a few very limited specific provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

 

Question: So what can you challenge in the Petition for Review?

 

Answer: A challenge to a BIA or ICE decision may involve legal, constitutional, factual, and/or
discretionary claims. In general, (1) legal claims assert that BIA/ICE erroneously applied or
interpreted the law (e.g., the INA or the regulations); (2) constitutional challenges assert that
BIA/ICE violated a constitutional right (e.g., due process or equal protection); (3) factual claims
assert that certain findings of fact made by BIA/ICE were erroneous; and (4) discretionary claims assert BIA/ICE abused its discretion by the manner in which it reached its conclusion.

 

Keep in mind that the 30-day deadline for filing a petition for review of the underlying decision is not extended by the filing of a motion to reopen or reconsider, nor is it extended by the grant or extension of voluntary departure. To obtain review of issues arising from a BIA decision and issues arising from the denial of a motion to reopen or reconsider, separate petitions for review of each BIA decision must be filed.

 

It is quite complex to properly do a Petition for Review, so be sure that you get a qualified immigration attorney to get it filed for you.

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