Federal Courts/Jurisdiction

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

Recent Features

All Federal Courts/Jurisdiction Content

May 13, 2010
This Practice Advisory addresses who is the proper respondent-defendant and recipient for service of process in immigration-related litigation in district court. The Advisory covers whom to sue in specific types of immigration-related actions, including mandamus, Federal Tort Claims Acts (and administrative claims), Bivens, and habeas actions.
August 1, 2009
This Practice Advisory presents a short introduction to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), which authorizes U.S. district courts to appoint counsel to represent financially eligible individuals in habeas corpus actions brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
April 13, 2009
This Practice Advisory explains the federal rules authorizing electronic filing in federal court; describes how to file documents in federal court using the Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) System; and outlines how to access electronic documents through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). The Advisory discusses restrictions on electronic access to court documents in immigration cases.
August 5, 2008
The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the courts of appeals to review “final” removal orders. This Practice Advisory addresses whether a removal decision issued by an Immigration Judge or the BIA is a “final” removal order for purposes of federal court review.
June 1, 2008

This Practice Advisory offers a short introduction to habeas corpus, addressing when and how a petitioner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the immigration context.

April 5, 2006
This Practice Advisory discusses the changes that the REAL ID Act made to INA § 242(a)(2)(B) and outlines an analysis for whether §242(a)(2)(B) applies to a particular case. It also discusses federal court jurisdiction over discretionary decisions after the REAL ID Act in the removal and non-removal contexts. The government has asserted this jurisdictional bar in employment-based, family-based, and humaritarian-based immigration cases.
June 7, 2005
On May 11, 2005, the REAL ID Act was signed into law. This Act contains numerous provisions related to federal court review of immigration cases. This Practice Advisory discusses the provisions of the Act that pertain to judicial review of immigration decisions under the INA.
April 27, 2005
This Practice Advisory discusses the types of Affirmance Without Option (AWO) challenges that have failed and those that remain available. The Advisory also includes a chart identifying the primary cases in each circuit and how they have decided various AWO issues.
April 20, 2005
This Practice Advisory addresses situations in which a court might excuse a late-filed petition for review and discusses other administrative and federal court options for remedying the failure to timely file a petition for review. The Advisory also provides an overview of 28 U.S.C. § 1631, which authorizes courts to transfer a case to cure a lack of jurisdiction when an action is filed in the wrong federal court.
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,...

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 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...

August 6, 2018

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative by August 23. This ruling in the D.C. District Court comes just...

June 29, 2018

In an 8-1 decision on June 21, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an individual previously prevented from applying for a type of relief from deportation known as cancellation of removal. In...

June 26, 2018

The Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Trump v. Hawaii on Tuesday, upholding the third iteration of the president’s Muslim Ban. The decision by the closely divided court, which...

April 26, 2018

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in Trump v. Hawaii, one of several cases challenging President Trump’s third travel ban. After two earlier travel bans were partially or fully struck...

April 18, 2018

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling on Tuesday in Sessions v. Dimaya, declared a provision of immigration law so vague as to be unconstitutional. Noncitizens—including green card holders—can be...

February 28, 2018

Indefinitely detained immigrants facing possible deportation lost ground in their fight for the right to a bond hearing following a Supreme Court decision on Tuesday. Their sole remaining weapon...

June 27, 2016
A federal district court unsealed some of the photographs central to ongoing litigation challenging deplorable and unconstitutional conditions in Border Patrol detention facilities in the agency’s Tucson Sector. The court also allowed the Arizona Republic newspaper to intervene in the case to argue for the release of the documents.
June 23, 2016

Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in United States v.

June 4, 2016
Last week an alliance of immigration advocacy groups represented by the Legal Action Center filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
April 18, 2016

Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas.

April 5, 2016

Washington, D.C.—Last week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Vartelas v.

October 21, 2015

Washington D.C. - Immigrant rights groups today filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation to compel the

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,...

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 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...

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 6, 2018

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative by August 23. This ruling in the D.C. District Court comes just...

June 29, 2018

In an 8-1 decision on June 21, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an individual previously prevented from applying for a type of relief from deportation known as cancellation of removal. In...

June 26, 2018

The Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Trump v. Hawaii on Tuesday, upholding the third iteration of the president’s Muslim Ban. The decision by the closely divided court, which...

April 26, 2018

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in Trump v. Hawaii, one of several cases challenging President Trump’s third travel ban. After two earlier travel bans were partially or fully struck...

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