Due Process and the Courts

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August 16, 2018
This report presents findings from the first empirical analysis of asylum adjudication in family detention. Drawing on government data from over 18,000 immigration court proceedings initiated between...
May 1, 2018
Over the last two decades, the federal government increasingly has utilized the criminal courts to punish people for immigration violations. This overview provides basic information about entry-...
October 24, 2016
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe and subsequent efforts by states and localities to avoid compliance with the decision.
June 17, 2016
Backlogs and delays benefit neither immigrants nor the government—keeping those with valid claims in limbo and often in detention, delaying removal of those without valid claims, and calling into...
May 16, 2016

Over the past few years, thousands of children—many fleeing horrific levels of violence in Central America—have arrived at the U.S. border in need of protection. Most children are placed in...

April 11, 2016
This guide provides brief answers to common questions about United States v. Texas, including what is at stake in the case, how the litigation began, what the contested issues are, and the impact the...
July 29, 2014
As the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the United States border has increased, some lawmakers have argued that children frequently fail to appear for proceedings and thus proposed...
June 1, 2013

“Judicial review” refers to federal court review of an immigration agency decision. Some individuals whose immigration benefits applications are denied or who are ordered removed from the United...

May 15, 2013
Our legal system rests upon the principle that everyone is entitled to due process of law and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. But for far too long, immigration courts have failed to provide...
March 19, 2013
There is a growing consensus that our immigration system must be updated. Severe visa backlogs hurt U.S. businesses, undocumented workers are frequently exploited, and record levels of deportations...

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)—the...

February 19, 2018
In the case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to himself questions related to administrative closure. This move by Sessions could signal an attempt to end administrative closure altogether—which could force over 350,000 immigrants back into immigration court, exacerbating the challenges of an already overburdened immigration court system.
This lawsuit challenges the actions of immigration judges in Charlotte, North Carolina who have refused to conduct bond hearings for people who properly file bond motions with the Charlotte Immigration Court.
This lawsuit challenged obstacles faced by asylum-seekers in satisfying the statutory requirement that they apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States.
August 17, 2015
The Council submitted an amicus brief arguing that immigration judges’ duty to develop the record is particularly important in pro se litigants’ cases, and that this duty requires immigration judges to provide noncitizens with information about the types of relief they are seeking and to actively elicit relevant information. For more information about this topic, contact the Council's legal department.
April 16, 2015
The Council and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild submitted an amicus brief in support of rehearing addressing immigration judges’ duty, in pro se cases, to fully inform litigants of the consequences of their legal decisions and to ensure that any waivers of appeal are knowing and intelligent. The Ninth Circuit denied the petition for rehearing in a non-precedent decision. For more information on this topic, contact the Council's legal department.
March 1, 2015
By statute, noncitizens who have been ordered removed have the right to file one motion to reopen. 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7)(A). In most cases, these statutory motions to reopen are subject to strict filing deadlines. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1229a(c)(7)(C)(i), (b)(5)(C)(i). However, as nine courts of appeals have recognized, the deadlines are subject to equitable tolling, a long-recognized principle through which courts can waive the application of certain non-jurisdictional statutes of limitations where a plaintiff was diligent but nonetheless unable to comply with the filing deadline. Several courts have also recognized that the numerical limitation on motions to reopen is subject to tolling. The Council continues to advocate in the remaining courts of appeals for recognition that that the motion to reopen deadlines are subject to equitable tolling and, with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers' Guild (NIPNLG), has filed amicus briefs in the Fourth, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.
January 29, 2015
The Council submitted comments in response to a request by DHS and the Department of State (DOS) for input on streamlining and improving the U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa systems. In the comments, the Council recommended that DHS amend 8 C.F.R. § 292.5(b) to ensure that individuals in secondary inspection are provided with a regulatory right to counsel during their examinations, and that DOS promulgate regulations in 22 C.F.R. Part 40 to provide for meaningful access to counsel during interviews at consular posts.
October 1, 2014
The synopsis provides a summary of CBP policies related to access to counsel, based on documents obtained through the Council’s FOIA request and litigation. The summary addresses access to counsel in inspections and CBP detention, and policies on advisals of rights and the treatment of children.
This lawsuits seeks recognition of a right to appointed counsel for unrepresented children in immigration proceedings nationwide.
August 20, 2018
This Practice Advisory has information practitioners need to assess whether filing suit in federal court is the right option for challenging an employment-based petition denial.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a general overview of motions to suppress, a tool used to prevent the introduction of evidence obtained by federal immigration officers in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and related provisions of federal law.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory discusses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings move to suppress evidence obtained through constitutional violations by state and local officers seeking to enforce immigration law.
August 1, 2017
This Practice Advisory addresses some of the legal issues that may arise when noncitizens in removal proceedings seek to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained by Customs and Border Protection officers.
February 13, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a broad overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including how to make a FOIA request and how to appeal an inadequate response. It discusses the...
September 26, 2016
This Practice Advisory discusses whether and how a person can get review of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision in federal court if he or she did not appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The Advisory addresses the Supreme Court case Darby v. Cisneros, holding that a plaintiff is not required to exhaust non-mandatory administrative remedies in certain situations, and how it may apply to cases involving appeals to the AAO.
December 1, 2015
The immigration courts’ unprecedented backlogs are creating procedural and substantive challenges for attorneys trying to comply with the One-Year Filing Deadline (OYFD) in asylum cases. This Practice Advisory discusses strategies and procedures for complying with the OYFD.
November 9, 2015
Noncitizens may file a petition for review in the court of appeals to seek judicial review of a final removal order. This Practice Advisory addresses the procedures and general requirements for filing and litigating a petition for review.
November 6, 2015

This Practice Advisory provides basic information about mandamus actions and suggests strategies and practice tips for bringing a mandamus action against the Department of Labor (DOL).

June 17, 2014
Litigants who are successful in their federal court cases against the government may be able to recover attorneys’ fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). The American Immigration Council and National Immigration Project have reissued their Practice Advisory on EAJA. The Advisory discusses the statutory requirements for eligibility and other procedural and substantive aspects of filing a fee application under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).
November 13, 2018

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stinging rebuke to President Trump’s ongoing efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative last week, unanimously...

October 26, 2018

In early October, a federal court ruled that the Trump administration had violated the law when it terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua,...

October 12, 2018

Overwhelmed immigration courts and massive court backlogs have long been a nation-wide problem. Hearings are regularly scheduled years in advance—in some jurisdictions, judges are scheduling...

October 1, 2018

On October 1, immigration judges around the country will arrive at work and face a daunting new task; complete 700 removal cases in the next year or risk official sanction. The new court quotas...

September 28, 2018

On October 1, the Supreme Court will begin hearing cases for the start of its 2018-2019 term. Although only one immigration case is currently scheduled to be heard, challenges to President Trump’s...

September 26, 2018

In his latest attempt to micromanage immigration judges and ensure a maximum number of deportations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision last week restricting a judge’s ability to...

September 11, 2018

Rather than encourage the new class of 44 immigration judges to be fair and impartial adjudicators in his Monday morning speech, Attorney General Jeff Sessions advocated for a deeply flawed...

September 7, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released “Phase I” of its review of the federally-funded Legal Orientation Program (LOP) this week. The review came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempted...

September 5, 2018

President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court—D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh—appears in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to answer...

September 4, 2018

This week will mark the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s announcement ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Yet, defenders and recipients of DACA are...

April 11, 2018
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), part of the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced its intention to cancel the Legal Orientation Program (LOP) despite its immensely positive impact on judicial efficiency and fundamental fairness, and Congress’ express instruction to continue such programming, along with the provision of funding in the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill, recently signed by the president.
August 16, 2017
The parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE have reached a settlement that ensures access to mental health evaluations for certain detained mothers and children seeking asylum.
June 28, 2017
A U.S. District Court condemned the federal government for continuing to disregard critical protections for children in detention.
January 12, 2017
A federal court in Seattle has granted nationwide class action status to a case seeking to protect the rights of thousands of asylum seekers pursuing protection from persecution in their home countries.
October 5, 2016
In accordance with a settlement reached by the parties, a federal district court dismissed a class action lawsuit which challenged U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
September 20, 2016
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), Dobrin & Han, PC, American Immigration Council, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild commend the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for reversing course and now allowing asylum applicants to file their applications by mail or in person at an immigration court window.
August 1, 2016
An appellate court has ruled for an immigration group in a lawsuit against the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) challenging its response to a request for information regarding alleged misconduct by immigration judges and records that would reveal whether the agency adequately investigates and resolves complaints against immigration judges.
July 20, 2016
In a disappointing but unsurprising decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the federal government’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has temporarily stopped President Obama’s latest deferred action initiatives from being implemented.
July 19, 2016
Immigration, civil rights and labor groups joined the legal effort to defend President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration by filing an amicus “friend of the court” brief in the case, State of Texas vs. United States.
July 10, 2016
The decision strongly reaffirms the importance of immigrants’ statutory right to file a motion to reopen, a procedural protection meant to ensure a proper and lawful outcome in an immigration proceeding.
November 13, 2018

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stinging rebuke to President Trump’s ongoing efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative last week, unanimously...

October 26, 2018

In early October, a federal court ruled that the Trump administration had violated the law when it terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua,...

October 12, 2018

Overwhelmed immigration courts and massive court backlogs have long been a nation-wide problem. Hearings are regularly scheduled years in advance—in some jurisdictions, judges are scheduling...

October 1, 2018

On October 1, immigration judges around the country will arrive at work and face a daunting new task; complete 700 removal cases in the next year or risk official sanction. The new court quotas...

September 28, 2018

On October 1, the Supreme Court will begin hearing cases for the start of its 2018-2019 term. Although only one immigration case is currently scheduled to be heard, challenges to President Trump’s...

September 26, 2018

In his latest attempt to micromanage immigration judges and ensure a maximum number of deportations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision last week restricting a judge’s ability to...

September 11, 2018

Rather than encourage the new class of 44 immigration judges to be fair and impartial adjudicators in his Monday morning speech, Attorney General Jeff Sessions advocated for a deeply flawed...

September 7, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released “Phase I” of its review of the federally-funded Legal Orientation Program (LOP) this week. The review came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempted...

September 5, 2018

President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court—D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh—appears in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to answer...

September 4, 2018

This week will mark the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s announcement ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Yet, defenders and recipients of DACA are...

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