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ABA Pro Bono Training: The Essentials of

Immigration Court Representation


Introduction to Immigration Court Proceedings

Dree Collopy
Co-panelist: Christina Fiflis
Presentation Overview
 Representation of Clients in Immigration Court Overview
– The Notice to Appear and Pleadings
– Brief Overview of Relief Available in Removal Proceedings
– The Immigration Court Practice Manual
– Working with Opposing Counsel

 The Fundamentals of Burden of Proof, Evidence, and Witness


Examination
– The Shifting Burdens of Proof
– The Abridged Rules of Evidence
– Submission of Evidence/Authentication/Meeting your Burden
– Preparation of Witnesses; Direct, Cross, and Re-Direct
Examination; Opening and Closing Statements
– Common Motions Used in Immigration Court
Representation of
Clients in Immigration Court
1. The Notice to Appear and Pleadings
2. Master Calendar & Individual Hearings
3. Most Common Forms of Relief
4. The Immigration Court Practice Manual
5. Working with Opposing Counsel
The Notice to Appear and Pleadings in
Immigration Court

 Commencement of Proceedings
– The main players
– Identification of non-citizens for removal by DHS
– Enforcement of U.S. Immigration Laws
– Useful Tools
 Charging Document
– What is a Notice to Appear?
– Initial considerations
– Challenging the Notice to Appear
 Pleadings in Immigration Court
Commencement of Proceedings

 Immigration Court proceedings begin the lodging of


a charging document with the Immigration Court
– Prior to April 1, 1997: Exclusion Proceedings, Form I-122
– Prior to April 1, 1997: Deportation Proceedings, Form I-221
– Effective April 1, 1997: Removal Proceedings, Form I-862
 The Main Players:
– U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration
Review, Immigration Judges
– U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement
– The Respondent and You
Commencement of Proceedings:
Identification and Enforcement

 Identification of Non-citizens for Removal by


DHS
– Through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services
– Through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a
port of entry, or 110 miles of the border
– Through U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (tips, raids, local law enforcement
referrals, safe communities program, etc.)
Commencement of Proceedings:
Identification and Enforcement

 Enforcement of U.S. Immigration Laws


– Under federal authority, but delegated to certain state officials
under INA § 287(g); INA § 275
– Powers to stop, search, seize, and arrest are found at INA § 287
and 8 C.F.R. § 287.8(b)(1)
– Extremely broad power as long as liberty is not restrained
– No reasonable suspicion necessary at the border
– Expectation of privacy is less at the border (expansive search
power)
– DHS may briefly detain an individual where there is reasonable
suspicion (not probable cause) that the person is engaging in
illegal activity or is in the U.S. unlawfully
– Home Searches: search warrant and probable cause required
– Employment Searches: search warrant, consent of owner or
exigent circumstances required (but not necessary for public
areas)
Commencement of Proceedings:
Identification and Enforcement

 Due process rights exist for non-citizens


– Accardi v. Shaughnessy, 347 U.S. 260 (1954); Landon v.
Placencia, 459 U.S. 21 (1982); Pyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202
(1982)
 Remedies for Due Process/Statutory and Regulatory
Violations in Enforcement
– Motions to Suppress and Terminate Proceedings
 INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984) – egregious
violations of the 4th Amendment or other liberties that might
transgress notions of fundamental fairness and undermine the
probative value of the evidence obtained
Commencement of Proceedings:
Useful Tools

 Where is the court? When is the hearing?


– http://www.justice.gov/eoir/
– Immigration Court Information System: #1-800-898-7180
 Who is representing DHS?
– http://www.ice.gov/about/district_offices.htm
 If your client is detained, who should you contact?
– http://www.ice.gov/about/dro/contact.htm
– Online Detainee Locator System:
https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do
Charging Document: the NTA

 What is a Notice to Appear?


– Form I-862
– Charging Document that commences removal proceedings
(INA § 239(a))
 Initial Considerations:
– Is the individual subject to proceedings?
– Is he/she removable as charged in the NTA?
– If so, is he/she eligible for relief?
– Identify deficiencies in the NTA or in the service of the NTA
 Statutory and regulatory requirements
 Due process
Charging Document:
Identifying Deficiencies

 Specific Requirements for NTAs set forth at INA §


239; 8 CFR §§ 239.2, 1003.20, 1239.2.
– The NTA must state:
 The nature of the proceedings
 The legal authority for the proceedings
 The acts or conduct alleged to be in violation of law
 The charges against the individual and the statutory authority
for those charges
 Notification of the right to be represented by counsel
 Notification of the requirement that the Respondent must
provide a current and updated address/phone number
– Service and issuance of the NTA must not be defective
 Must be served in person, or “if personal service is not
practicable,” through mail to the Respondent or counsel of
record
Charging Document:
Identifying Deficiencies

 Due Process
– Requires that the NTA provide the Respondent with
sufficient notice of the government’s theory of the case and
the evidence in support of that theory
– Proceedings comply with due process when the NTA is
correctly prepared, accurately alleged and charged, and
properly served
 INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032, 1050-51 (1984); see
also Orhorhaghe v. INS, 38 F.3d 488, 493 (9th Cir. 1994);
Matter of Sandoval, 17 I&N Dec. 70 (BIA 1979).
Charging Document:
Challenging Deficiencies

 Why Challenge the Notice to Appear?


– Shift the burden of proof
– Preserve rights on appeal
 If you fail to review the NTA and make objections, you will
likely be waiving any future challenges (Chambers v. Mukasey,
520 F.3d 445 (5th Cir. 2008); Matter of Velasquez, 19 I&N Dec.
377, 380 (BIA 1986))
– Termination of proceedings (claim to U.S. citizenship,
regulatory violation, etc.)
– Eligibility for relief
– Contest mandatory detention
Charging Document:
Challenging Deficiencies

 Review Allegations and Charges Carefully


– Correct date/manner of entry?
– Claim to U.S. Citizenship?
– Corrected categorization of criminal history?
– Asylee/refugee in proceedings without DHS having
terminated protected status? 8 CFR § 1208.24
– Possible diplomatic immunity – Respondent in A or G
status?
– Information contained in the allegations obtained in violation
of due process?
Pleadings in Immigration Court
 Address whether service of the NTA was proper
 Representation by counsel that he/she has discussed the nature and purpose
of proceedings, as well as contents of the NTA, with Respondent
 Representation by counsel that he/she has explained the consequences of
failing to appear or filing frivolous applications
 Admit or deny factual allegations and concede or deny charge(s) of
removability
– Be prepared to explain why the Respondent denies any of these
 If relevant, notify the Court what application(s) for relief from removal the
Respondent will be seeking
– Acknowledge that they must be timely filed and biometrics must be timely completed
– Notify the Court how much time Respondent needs to submit application(s)
– Be ready to explain prima facie eligibility for relief sought
– Notify the Court how much time Respondent needs to present the case in Court
– Notify the Court if any interpreters are needed
 Designate or decline to designate a country of removal
Master Calendar and Individual
Hearings in Immigration Court

 Authority of the Immigration Judge


 Appearing before the Immigration Judge
 Form and Record of Proceedings
 Interpreters
 Attendance and Timeliness
 Master Calendar Hearing
 Individual Hearing
Authority of the Immigration Judge

 Set forth at INA § 240(b)(1); 8 CFR §§ 1003.10, 1240.31


 “The Immigration Judge shall administer oaths, receive
evidence, and interrogate, examine and cross-examine the
alien and any witnesses…issue subpoenas and sanction by
civil money penalty any action or inaction in contempt of the
judge’s proper exercise of authority under the Act.” INA §
240(b)(1).
 The Immigration Judge “shall…conduct exclusion, deportation,
removal and asylum proceedings and such other proceedings
which the Attorney General may assign them to conduct.” 8
CFR §§ 1003.10, 1240.31 (“shall exercise the discretion and
Authority conferred upon the Attorney General by the Act as is
appropriate and necessary for the disposition of such cases”).
Appearing before the
Immigration Judge

 Practical tips for appearing before the Immigration


Judge:
1. Be on time
2. Be familiar with and comply with the statute and
regulations, the Immigration Court Practice Manual,
and the basic rules of evidence
3. Be prepared
4. Be organized – know your client and the
documentation on record with the Court
5. Be civil
Form and Record of Proceedings
 Form of Proceedings (INA § 240(b)(2); 8 CFR § 1003.25(c))
– In person
– By video conference
– By telephone conference (evidentiary hearings on the merits may
only be by telephone with consent)
 Record of Proceedings
– NTA, forms, applications for relief, exhibits submitted by the
parties, motions, briefs, written orders and decisions of the
Immigration Judge
– Recordings of Hearings
 Recorded electronically by the Immigration Judge
 May be off-the-record discussions, which are summarized on the
record by the IJ
 Other types of Proceedings
– Deportation, exclusion
– Detention and Bond
– Discipline of Practitioners
Interpreters

 8 CFR § 1003.22
 Interpreters are provided at government
expense for Individual Hearings and, if
necessary, Master Calendar Hearings
 Staff interpreters, contract interpreters, and
telephonic interpretation services
– Oath to interpret and translate accurately in court
Attendance and Timeliness

 Attendance and Timeliness is Essential


– Delay in appearance or failure to appear may
result in the Respondent’s removal in absentia (8
CFR § 1003.26(c))
– No appeal, but parties may file a motion to reopen
an in absentia removal order
Master Calendar Hearing
 The Respondent’s first appearance before an Immigration
Judge in removal proceedings
 Notification of Master Calendar Hearing
– NTA or Hearing Notice with date, time, and location
 Purpose of Master Calendar Hearing:
– Entry of Appearance
– Advising the Respondent of rights
– NTA: explain the charges and factual allegations
– Pleadings
– Identify and narrow the factual and legal issues
– Set filing deadlines
– Status Updates
– Scheduling of the Individual Hearing for adjudication of contested
matters and applications for relief
– Provide certain warnings to the Respondent
Individual Hearing
 Evidentiary hearings on contested matters, or merits hearings
– Challenges to removability
– Application(s) for relief
 Filings of applications, exhibits, motions, witness list, pre-
hearing briefs prior to hearing
– Immigration Court Practice Manual for filing rules and deadlines
 Pre-Hearing Conferences and Communications Between the
Parties
– Narrow issues, obtain stipulations, and simplify proceedings
 Content of Hearings
– Opening statements
– Objections to evidence
– Presentation of witnesses and evidence, as well as cross-
examination of witnesses
– Closing statements
– Decision of the Immigration Judge (oral or written)
Most Common Forms of Relief
Available in Removal Proceedings

 Termination and Administrative Closure


 Voluntary Departure – INA § 240B
 Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Protection Under the Convention Against
Torture – INA §§ 208(a), 241(b)(3)
 Cancellation of Removal
– LPRs
– Non-LPRs
– NACARA “Special Rule” Cancellation
– VAWA Cancellation
 Adjustment of Status – INA § 245(a)
 Special Cases
– INA § 245(i)
– Waivers – INA §§ 212(c), 212(h), 212(i)
– VAWA and U visas
 Deferred Action
The Immigration Court
Practice Manual

 Arose from desire for greater uniformity in


Immigration Court procedures and need for
Courts to implement “best practices”
nationwide
 Table of Contents in your materials, full
manual available online at:
http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/OCIJPracManu
al/ocij_page1.htm
The Immigration Court
Practice Manual

 Filing rules and deadlines


– Must be timely – know the 15 day rule!
– Must include EOIR-28, cover page, fee receipt if applicable,
application, exhibits with table of contents, proposed order in
triplicate (for motions), proof of service
– Must serve opposing party
– Format must be proper
 Rules for conduct and procedures of hearings
 Motions before the Immigration Court
 Appeals of Immigration Judge decisions
 Rules for Detention and Bond proceedings
 Discipline of practitioners
 Appendices with samples
Working with Opposing Counsel
 Why work with opposing counsel?
– DHS and IJ also want a just result; minimizes the adversarial
nature of proceedings
– Efficiency of case before the IJ
– Best possible outcome
 Take the long view
– Guard your reputation
– Don’t sell out for a single client
– Know your case
– Make sure DHS knows you mean business if necessary
 Prosecutorial discretion – new policy memos
– Stipulations
– Withholding prosecution
– Repapering
– Deferred Action
Burden of Proof, Evidence,
Witness Examination, and Motions
1. The Shifting Burdens of Proof
2. The Abridged Rules of Evidence
3. Submission of Evidence, Authentication,
Meeting your Burden
4. Preparation and Examination of Witnesses
5. Opening and Closing Statements
6. Common Motions Used
The Shifting Burdens of Proof

 Burden on DHS to prove:


– Alienage – 8 CFR § 1240.8
 If the Respondent is present without being admitted or paroled,
the burden is on DHS initially to establish alienage.
– Removability as charged – INA § 240(c)(3)(A); 8 CFR §
1240.8(a)
 If the Respondent was lawfully admitted but is now deportable,
the burden is on DHS to prove that the Respondent is
removable as charged by “clear and convincing evidence.”
– If there is any possible way to challenge alienage or
removability, force DHS to meet their burden!
The Shifting Burdens of Proof

 Burden on Respondent to prove:


– Lawfully present or not inadmissible as charged – 8 CFR §
1240.8(c)
 If the Respondent is present without being admitted or paroled
and DHS established alienage, the burden shifts to the
Respondent to prove that he/she is lawfully present (“clear and
convincing”) or not inadmissible as charged (“clearly and
beyond doubt”).
– Eligibility for relief from removal
 If DHS has established alienage and removability, the burden
shifts to the Respondent to prove that he/she is eligible for
relief from removal
– Meets all applicable eligibility requirements
– Merits a favorable exercise of discretion (for discretionary relief)
The Abridged Rules of Evidence in
Immigration Court

 Rules of Evidence come from the Regulations and the Practice


Manual
– Use your instincts
– Make objections to maintain the issues for appeal
 Rules that apply – aimed at reliability and trustworthiness
– Authentication
– Best Evidence
– Administrative Notice
– Stipulations
 Rules that do not apply
– Hearsay
– Privileges
 When in doubt, it’s about Fundamental Fairness!
Submission of Evidence, Authentication,
and Meeting Your Burden

 Applications for Relief


– May be submitted any time before final order or
on Motion to Reopen
– See Practice Manual for format
 Tab your exhibits!
– Know your record
 Do not submit duplicate evidence unless necessary
 Address issues you find in the record
Submission of Evidence, Authentication,
and Meeting Your Burden

 Burden – INA § 240(c)(4)(A)


– Must satisfy basic statutory/regulatory eligibility
requirements
 Meet each element
 Address any bars to relief / inadmissibility issues
– Criminal, misrepresentation/fraud, statutory bars
– Must show that a favorable exercise of discretion is
warranted
 Address any adverse criminal factors, fraud, etc.
– Submit waivers
– Show rehabilitation and remorse
– Highlight positive factors: U.S. citizen family members, hardship
to U.S. citizens, contributions to community, long period of time in
the U.S., lack of criminal record, immigration history, paying taxes
and other civic duties, etc.
Preparation of Witnesses, Witness
Examination, Opening/Closing Statements

 Preparation of Witnesses
– Make sure the witness knows the purpose of the
proceedings and the purpose of his/her testimony
– Familiarize the witness with the procedures and
what to expect
– Prepare witnesses for questions that are likely to
come up on cross-examination and explain the
purpose of those questions
– Sworn affidavits are your friend! Use them!
Preparation of Witnesses, Witness
Examination, Opening/Closing Statements

 Tips for Immigration Court Representation


– Know and follow the rules!
– Be prepared
– Contact the ICE Trial Attorney prior to the hearing
– Always keep “the record” in the back of your mind
 Protect your client and preserve issues for appeal
 Raise all non-frivolous arguments and challenge DHS
 Note anything improper or unfair to your client on the record by
objecting to it (i.e. improper evidence or improper questioning)
– Be zealous, but not over-zealous – remember your
manners!
– Always listen carefully and be alert!
Preparation of Witnesses, Witness
Examination, Opening/Closing Statements

 Direct Examination
– Have a plan, but be flexible
 Listen to your client’s answers
 Pay attention to the Immigration Judge
– Ask direct, simple questions focused on the personal knowledge of
the witness
– Watch out for leading questions
– Qualify your expert and/or witnesses to give opinions
– Defer to the Immigration Judge as the fact-finder
 Cross Examination
– Listen!
– Be prepared to object and make your objections for the record
 Re-direct Examination
– Don’t repeat what has already been covered
– Purpose of re-direct is to respond to issues brought up on cross or
to help clarify the Respondent’s answers given on cross
Preparation of Witnesses, Witness
Examination, Opening/Closing Statements

 Opening Statements
– Some IJs allow, some do not
– Most IJs start with preliminary matters, such as identifying the
exhibits, asking if there are any objections to evidence, admitting
the evidence into the record, etc.
– After preliminary matters, some IJs will ask you for your theory of
the case
 This is your opportunity to tell the Judge what the case is all about!
 First impressions are lasting impressions!
 Purpose of an Opening Statement
– Establish the theory of your case (legal requirements with facts
woven in)
– Establish your theme – reduce a large amount of information to
easily-remembered words and phrases
– Anticipate weaknesses and refute the other side
– Request an outcome – tell the IJ what you want!
Preparation of Witnesses, Witness
Examination, Opening/Closing Statements

 Closing Statements
– Most IJs allow closing statements
– Keep it short and sweet!
– This is your opportunity to tie it all together for the
Immigration Judge…not simply a summation!
 Remind the IJ of your theme and why he/she should find in
your client’s favor – logic and emotion!
 Take the law, theory of your case, supporting evidence, and
testimony presented, and mold them into a persuasive whole
 Deal candidly with weaknesses and dismiss them, point out
weaknesses in the other side’s case
Common Motions Used in
Immigration Court

 Bond Motions
 Motions to Change Venue
 Motions for Telephonic Testimony
 Motions for Termination or Administrative
Closure
 Motions for Continuances
 Motions to Reopen/Reconsider
 Motions to Suppress Evidence
Common Motions: Bond Motions

 Custody/Bond Redetermination
– DHS custody and bond determinations may be
reviewed by an Immigration Judge – 8 CFR §
1236
 Application for bond redetermination may be
made orally, in writing, or, at the discretion of
the IJ, by telephone
 Separate and apart from any deportation or
removal hearing or proceeding – 8 CFR §
1003.19(d)
Common Motions: Bond Motions

 Discretionary Determination by the IJ


– May consider any information available or presented
 Matter of Adeniji, 22 I&N Dec. 1102 (BIA 1999)
– Establish not a danger to property or persons
– Establish not a flight risk
 Matter of Patel, 15 I&N Dec. 666 (BIA 1976)
– Local family ties
– Prior arrests, convictions, appearances at hearings
– Employment
– Membership in community organizations
– Manner of entry and length of time in the U.S.
– Immoral acts or participation in subversive activities
– Financial ability to post bond
– Chances of success on the merits
Common Motions: Bond Motions

 Mandatory Detention – INA §236(c)


– For certain criminal aliens
– Joseph Hearing when DHS inaccurately charges your client
as mandatory – Matter of Joseph, 22 I&N Dec. 799 (BIA
1999)
 Properly included?
 DHS substantially unlikely to prevail on charge of removability
specified in INA § 236(c)
 Alternatives to Detention
– Matter of Garcia-Garcia, 24 I&N Dec. 93 (BIA 2009)
– Matter of Aguilar-Aquino, 25 I&N Dec. 93 (BIA 2010)
Common Motions:
Motions to Change Venue

 Venue lies where the charging document is filed by


the Service – 8 CFR §§ 1003.14(a), 1003.20(a)
– Usually, where the Respondent resides or is detained
 Standard is good cause
 Matter of Rahman, 20 I&N Dec. 480 (BIA 1992)
– Balance administrative convenience, location of
Respondent and witnesses, efficiency, cost of transporting
witness or evidence, etc.
 Know your Courts
– Seek advice of local counsel
– TRAC Study
– Advise client of possibility of “conservative” Court
Common Motions:
Motions for Telephonic Testimony

 Motion for Telephonic Testimony


– Specify the witness’s name and A number
– Detail and document the reasons why the witness
cannot appear in person and why their testimony
is important to the case
– Provide a written summary and estimated length
of testimony
– Specify the language used by the witness
– Present a resume if the witness is an expert
Common Motions: Motions for
Termination or Administrative Closure

 Motions to Terminate
– “The order of the Immigration Judge shall direct the respondent’s removal
from the United States, or the termination of proceedings.” 8 CFR §
1240.12(c)
– Reasons:
 Respondent not removable/inadmissible
 Lack of prosecution
 Challenges to the NTA
 Prosecutorial discretion
 Regulatory violations
 Motions for Administrative Closure
– Alternative to termination
– Matter of Gutierrez-Lopez, 21 I&N Dec. 479, 480 (BIA 1996) (“A case may
not be administratively closed if opposed by either of the parties.”)
– Case still in EOIR system and pending, but temporarily off the docket –
may be recalendared
– Purpose is to allow time for USCIS to adjudicate petitions/applications,
clarification of the law, etc.
– Recalendaring
Common Motions:
Motions to Continue

 First continuance granted to pro se Respondents to


seek counsel; then burden for continuance becomes
good cause.
– Pending petitions before USCIS
– Pursuit of post-conviction relief under Padilla v. Kentucky
 Practice Manual
– File in writing no less than 15 days prior to the hearing (the
sooner the better)
– Detail the reasons for the request and support with
evidence
– Include preferred dates that party is available to re-schedule
the hearing
Common Motions:
Motions to Reopen

 New Evidence – INA § 240(c)(7)


– Deadline is 90 days
– One motion only
– Standards – prima facie case for underlying relief,
evidence previously unavailable and material,
evidence could not have been discovered at
previous hearing, must be supported with
evidence and application for relief (if not already
filed)
Common Motions:
Motions to Reopen

 In Absentia – INA § 240(b)(5)(C)


– Must be filed with Court having administrative control over the case
– No Notice – INA § 239
 May be filed “at any time”
 Automatic stay of removal
 Proper notice defined in INA § 239(a) and Matter of G-Y-R-, 23 I&N Dec. 181
(BIA 2001)
 Presumption of effective delivery (Matter of Grijalva, 21 I&N Dec. 27 (BIA 1996)
– Exceptional Circumstances
 Attempt to contact Immigration Court or explanation for failure to do so
 Evidence should include affidavits (Matter of J-P-, 22 I&N Dec. 33, 34-35 (BIA
1998)
 Must be filed within 180 days – INA § 240(b)(5)(C)(i)
 Automatic stay of removal
 What are exceptional circumstances?
– Circumstances beyond the Respondent’s control
– Totality of the Circumstances Test (Matter of W-F-, 21 I&N Dec. 503, 509 (BIA 1996))
– Ineffective assistance of counsel (Matter of Grijalva, supra; Matter of Lozada, 19 I&N
Dec. 637 (BIA 1988))
Common Motions:
Motions to Reopen

 Beware
– Must file motion with Immigration Court with administrative
control of the case – 8 CFR § 1003.23(b)(1)(ii)
– BIA appeal vs. Motion to Reopen
– Was Respondent granted Voluntary Departure?
 Exceptions to Timeliness Requirement
– Sua sponte authority – 8 CFR §§ 1003.2(a), 1003.23(b)(1)
– Changed circumstances in asylum context – INA § 240(c)(7)
– Battered spouse provisions – INA § 240(c)(7)(C)(iv)
– Joint Motions – 8 CFR § 1003.23(b)(4)(iv)
 Stay of Removal
– Add to motion
– Call the Board! – Practice Manual Chapter 6
Common Motions:
Motions to Reconsider

 Separate and distinct from Motions to Reopen


 Request that the original decision be reexamined in light of
additional legal arguments, a change of law, or an argument or
aspect of the case that was overlooked
– INA § 240(c)(6)(C); 8 CFR § 1003.23(b)(2); Matter of O-S-G-, 24
I&N Dec. 56 (BIA 2006); Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336, 338
(BIA 2002); Matter of Cerna, 20 I&N Dec. 399 (BIA 1991).
 Must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the final
administrative order
– INA § 240(c)(6)(B); 8 CFR § 1003.23(b)(1); Matter of J-J-, 21 I&N
Dec. 976 (BIA 1997).
 May file one Motion to Reconsider a decision on removability
– INA § 240(c)(6)(A); 8 CFR § 1003.23(b); Matter of J-J-, 21 I&N
Dec. 976 (BIA 1997).
 May not seek reconsideration of a decision denying a previous
Motion to Reconsider – 8 CFR § 1003.23(b)(2)
Common Motions:
Motions to Suppress Evidence

 Evidence is only admissible if it is probative and its


use is fundamentally fair
– Matter of Ramirez Sanchez, 17 I&N Dec. 503, 505 (BIA
1980); Matter of Toro, 17 I&N Dec. 340 (BIA 1980)
 The exclusionary rule generally does not apply in
civil immigration proceedings, but possible to
suppress evidence obtained through egregious
violations of due process
– INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984)
 Regulatory violations that prejudice the Respondent
can also result in termination of proceedings
– Matter of Garcia-Flores, 17 I&N Dec. 325 (BIA 1980)
Common Motions Used in
Immigration Court

 Immigration Court Practice Manual, INA,


Regulations, Due Process
 General Tips on Motions
– Determine DHS’s position on the motion prior to filing
– Be clear about what you want the IJ to do
– Include the who, what, when, where, why
– Be clear and concise
– Support your reasoning with evidence
 Declarations, documentation, applications, etc.
– Don’t forget your proposed order in triplicate!
Introduction to
Immigration Court Proceedings

GOOD LUCK!!!

Questions? Contact us:


Dree Collopy – dcollopy@benachragland.com
Christina Fiflis – christina@fiflislaw.com