Seeking Information About Board of Immigration Appeals' Treatment of Motions to Reconsider

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Council and Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to learn more about trends in the Board of Immigration Appeal’s (BIA) treatment of motions to reconsider orders of removal. Several courts of appeals have held or suggested that to seek review in federal court, a noncitizen must first have filed a motion to reconsider before the Board. Thus, immigration practitioners, noncitizens seeking to overturn orders of removal, and the public deserve to better understand trends in adjudications of motions to reconsider by the BIA.

The FOIA asks the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to produce the following records:

- For FY 2011 through the present, the total number of motions to reconsider that have been filed with the Board.
- For each motion to reconsider, the following data:
- the date that the motion was filed;
- the party that filed the motion, i.e., Respondent or counsel for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
- the date that the Board decided the motion; and
- the disposition of the decided motion, i.e., whether the Board denied or granted the motion. 

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