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Court Remands for BIA to Explain Why It Did Not Apply Sanchez-Sosa Factors to Remand Request

The Eighth Circuit remanded for the BIA to explain why it denied the petitioner’s motion to reopen and reconsider after the petitioner had provided proof of his filing of a U visa application, when Matter of Sanchez-Sosa suggests that a completed application weighs in favor of pausing the removal process to await adjudication of the U visa.

Trump’s New Attorney General Launches Fresh Changes to Immigration Courts

The San Francisco Chronicle reports DOJ plans to issue rule changes that would make it easier for a handful of appellate immigration judges to declare their rulings binding on the entire immigration system. The changes could also expand the use of single-judge, cursory decisions at the appellate level.

Trump Plan Fails to Cut Immigration Court Backlog, as Caseload Soars More than 26 Percent

The Los Angeles Times reports that the administration’s controversial plan to shrink the ballooning backlog of immigration cases by pushing judges to hear more cases has failed

DHS Releases Information on Returning Certain Foreign Nationals to Mexico During Immigration Proceedings

DHS released information about the Migrant Protection Protocols it has begun implementing at the U.S.-Mexico border, whereby certain foreign nationals entering from Mexico may be returned to wait outside the United States for the duration of their immigration proceedings

Government Shutdown Closes Immigration Courts Adding to Record-High 800,000 Case Backlog

CBS News reports that the partial federal government shutdown has closed most immigration courts. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt said, “Holding the government hostage for a border wall isn’t going to do anything to make the country safer, but it will make the immigration courts worse.” The Washington PostEditorial Board noted the irony of “a president who conjures migrant no-shows in courts manag[ing] to close the courts entirely.

EOIR Releases Two Memos Related to Case Priorities and Performance Measures

EOIR supplemented its January 17, 2018, memo, Case Priorities and Immigration Court Performance Measures by announcing the tracking and expedition of “family unit” cases at ten immigration court locations. EOIR further supplemented the January memo by heightening the bar for overcoming a 180-day adjudication window, stating that for an immigration judge to grant a continuance resulting in an asylum case taking longer than 180 days to adjudicate, a respondent must satisfy the good-cause standard and show exceptional circumstances.

A Defendant Shows Up in Immigration Court by Himself. He’s 6.

Wilder Maldonado, who was separated from his father at the border and is facing immigration proceedings alone. ICYMI, the LA Times Published Published an op-ed earlier this week by a former DOJ employee about why he resigned from his position at the Los Angeles immigration court. Gianfranco de Girolamo writes, “I couldn’t stand by, or be complicit in, a mean-spirited and unscrupulous campaign to undermine the everyday work of the Justice Department and the judges who serve in our immigration courts — a campaign that hurts many of my fellow immigrants in the process

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