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Fair Procedures in Immigration Court

Last Updated: 
Thu, Aug 30, 2012

For far too long, immigration courts have failed to provide a fair, efficient and effective system of justice for noncitizens in this country. Through advocacy and litigation, the LAC has urged the adoption of laws and policies intended to ensure all noncitizens a meaningful opportunity to be heard. The LAC also has issued a number of practice advisories regarding immigration court and Board of Immigration Appeals procedures.



Timeliness of BIA Appeal

Liadov v. Mukasey, No. 06-3522 (8th Cir. amicus brief filed Dec. 13, 2006) (arguing that the Board has authority to consider late-filed appeal in unique circumstances and that failure of a guaranteed overnight delivery service to deliver appeal on time constitutes such a “unique” circumstance). In a precedent decision, Liadov v. Mukasey, 518 F.3d 1003 (8th Cir. 2008), the court denied the petition for review.


Comments to the Department of Justice/Executive Office for Immigration Review regarding the “Retrospective Regulatory Review” (submitted Nov. 27, 2012). The Council, in collaboration with AILA, urged EOIR to amend regulations pertaining to motions to reopen, stays of removal, bond hearings, telephonic and video hearings, filing and service of documents and decisions, and stipulated removal orders.

Comments on the Immigration Adjudication Draft Report by the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) (submitted February 13, 2012). The LAC commented on several issues addressed by the draft report, including representation, stipulated removal orders , prosecutorial discretion, video hearings, and the asylum clock. Read the draft report on the ACUS website.

Testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for May 18, 2011 hearing, “Improving Efficiency and Ensuring Justice in the Immigration Court System.”

LAC Press Release: Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Key Hearing on Challenges Facing Immigration Courts

American Immigration Council's Immigration Impact Blog: Immigration Court Backlog Likely to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Letter to the Department of Justice in response to request for comments regarding the Department’s review of its existing regulations (submitted March 31, 2011). The LAC urged the Department to withdraw the departure bar to motions to reopen; issue clear yet flexible rules governing ineffective assistance of counsel claims; initiate a rulemaking process to establish fair removal procedures for noncitizens with mental disabilities; and consider regulatory amendments that would remedy asylum clock problems.

Comments on the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s proposed rule on streamlining BIA cases (submitted Aug. 18, 2008).


On June 6, 2013, the Legal Action Center issued a series of fact sheet on due process in the immigration justice system. One fact sheet, Providing Noncitizens with Their Day in Court, addresses some of the critical immigration court proposals in the Senate immigration bill. Another fact sheet, Providing A Safety Valve: The Need for Greater Discretion in Immigration Decision Making, discusses the important role that discretion plays in immigration decision making.

On March 19, 2013, the Legal Action Center and the Immigration Policy Center issued a report, Two Systems of Justice: How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice, that describes the lack of due process in the immigration removal system and provides recommendations on how to fix the problem.

The LAC has issued several practice advisories addressing various aspects of immigration court and BIA procedures.