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BIA Rules on Failure to File an Application for Relief by Deadline Set by Immigration Judge

The BIA ruled that after an immigration judge has set a deadline for filing relief, the respondent’s opportunity to file the application may be deemed waived, prior to a scheduled hearing, if the deadline passes without submission of the application and no good cause for noncompliance has been shown. The BIA also ruled that, although the respondent was detained, appeared pro se, and used a Spanish interpreter at his video conference hearing, none of these factors, standing alone or taken together, constitute a denial of due process. 

Immigration lawyers are seeking video court appearances as the pandemic continues.

On July 31, immigration lawyers in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against the DOJ, seeking to keep them from having to physically appear in court during the pandemic. Immigration courts recently began having hearings for non-detained immigrants again, even as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S. The New Jersey chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association argues that video conferencing should be used for immigration court, just as it is used for other federal and state courts at this time.

Immigration judges have sued the Trump administration over a rule barring them from speaking publicly.

In January 2020, immigration judges received a notice from the Trump administration barring them from speaking publicly or to the press about what happens in their immigration courts. They were also barred from voicing their opinions on what should happen in immigration courts. On July 1, the immigration judges’ union filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the order violates their constitutional rights under the First Amendment.

An “internal disconnect” led to confusion about court dates at the border.

DHS recently sent out conflicting information on how asylum seekers in Mexico would receive new immigration court dates. First, DHS told asylum seekers to come to a port of entry one month after their originally scheduled court date in order to receive a new hearing date. A week later, DHS sent a notice out telling some asylum seekers to report on their original court date to receive a new date. Later, DHS clarified that the first instruction was the correct one. The DHS official who sent out the conflicting information said that it was due to an “unintentional internal disconnect” within DHS.

An “internal disconnect” led to confusion about court dates at the border.

DHS recently sent out conflicting information on how asylum seekers in Mexico would receive new immigration court dates. First, DHS told asylum seekers to come to a port of entry one month after their originally scheduled court date in order to receive a new hearing date. A week later, DHS sent a notice out telling some asylum seekers to report on their original court date to receive a new date. Later, DHS clarified that the first instruction was the correct one. The DHS official who sent out the conflicting information said that it was due to an “unintentional internal disconnect” within DHS

NAIJ Submits Motion to File Amicus Brief in Lawsuit Against ICE and EOIR for Handling of Immigration Cases During COVID-19 Crisis

The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) submitted a motion to file an amicus brief in NIPNLG, et. al. v. EOIR, et. al., a case filed by AILA, the Immigration Justice Campaign, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), and several detained individuals challenging EOIR’s operation of in-person immigration court hearings and ICE’s conditions of confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Law360 reports that, according to the NAIJ, more than half of the immigration courts nationwide have so far reported contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients or contact with individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Plaintiffs also submitted a supplemental brief in support of their emergency motion for a temporary restraining order in the case.

The Board of Immigration Appeals has issued a decision in Matter of J-J-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 808 (BIA 2020).

on this BIA case:

The Board of Immigration Appeals has issued a decision in Matter of J-J-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 808 (BIA 2020).
Headnotes:
(1) The exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal is based on a cumulative consideration of all hardship factors, but to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative, an applicant needs to establish that the relative has a serious medical condition and, if he or she is accompanying the applicant to the country of removal, that adequate medical care for the claimed condition is not reasonably available in that country.
(2) The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent did not establish eligibility for cancellation of removal because he did not demonstrate that his qualifying relatives will experience hardship, including medical, economic, and emotional hardship, that rises to the level of exceptional and extremely unusual.
Read full decision at https:/

I don’t see how that changes anything

(1) The exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal is based on a cumulative consideration of all hardship factors, but to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative, an applicant needs to establish that the relative has a serious medical condition and, if he or she is accompanying the applicant to the country of removal, that adequate medical care for the claimed condition is not reasonably available in that country.
(2) The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent did not establish eligibility for cancellation of removal because he did not demonstrate that his qualifying relatives will experience hardship, including medical, economic, and emotional hardship, that rises to the level of exceptional and extremely unusual.

The U.S. government used the therapy notes of a detained asylum seeker against him in court.

19-year old Kevin Euceda came to the U.S. and applied for asylum 3 years ago. While he was detained for nearly 3 years, he was ordered to attend mandatory therapy sessions. During the confidential therapy sessions, he told the therapist about his history of physical abuse, neglect, and former gang affiliation in Honduras. In court, ICE used these confidential therapy notes against him; Kevin’s case is currently under appeal. Other asylum seekers’ therapy notes have been used against them as well. The information sharing is technically legal, but psychologists say the policy breaks important doctor-patient confidentiality.

Immigration Judges Quit in Response to Administration Policies

CNN reports that over the past year, nearly double the number of immigration judges left their positions in comparison with fiscal years 2018 and 2017. While the reasons for individual judges moving on from their posts vary, interviews with judges who left in recent months reveal a common theme of frustration over a mounting number of policy changes that, they argue, have chipped away at their authority.

A state judge has temporarily blocked the construction of a private border wall.

We Build the Wall is a private group supporting the president and his building of the barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. The group raised money to build a small section of private border wall. The National Butterfly Center, located near the planned wall, sued to stop its construction. On Tuesday, a Texas judge issued a preliminary injunction, blocking construction. In the order, Judge Keno Vasquez said that building the barrier could cause “imminent and irreparable harm” to the 100-acre wild butterfly habitat. The founder of We Build the Wall said he had not heard anything about the order, and that it was “more fake news.”

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