Immigration Advocates Prevent Executive Office for Immigrant Review Rules From Going Into Effect

After a lawsuit filed by five immigrant rights groups, a Trump-era rule change to the Executive Office for Immigrant Review (EOIR) regulations was put on hold while it is being disputed in court. The joint lawsuit brought forth by The National immigrant Justice Center, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Brooklyn Defender Services, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, and HIAS sought to have the rule which was published on December 16th put on hold due to its severe restrictions on immigrants rights to legal recourse. The immigrant rights groups successfully argued that the 30 day review period for the EOIR rule change was the bare minimum and that there would be certain and great harm beyond remediation to immigrants if this rule stayed in effect. This represents the first step in repealing this rule in its entirety which restricted immigrants access to the board of immigration appeals through multiple mechanisms. This rule restricted the board of immigration appeals from taking into account new information or changes in laws which occurred after the start of an immigrants hearings. It also eliminated the process for immigrants to challenge results from the board of immigration appeals. Another troubling change was that it would also eliminate immigration judges’ and the board of immigrations authority to close or reopen cases to correct manifest injustices. Lastly, the rule change would politicize decision making by allowing the director of the Executive office for Immigrant Review to intervene in cases despite not being an elected or congressionally confirmed official. The stay on this rule represents just one more of the recent string of rollbacks of the Trump-era immigration policies. Litigation permanently overturning the rule change is pending and if the recent trend continues, this rule can be expected to be permanently repealed in the future. Attached below are links to the five immigrants rights groups which filed this lawsuit and a brief description of the organizations. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, advocates for humane and just immigration policy. Its network of nonprofit immigration programs — more than 370 affiliates in 49 states and the District of Columbia — is the largest in the nation. CLINIC provides substantive legal and program management training and resources, as well as advocacy support at state, local and national levels.

Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) is a public defender organization serving tens of thousands of Brooklyn residents each year since 1996. Our mission is to provide high-quality and client-centered criminal, family, immigration, and civil legal representation, as well as social work support and advocacy for people who cannot afford an attorney.

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project is the largest organization in Arizona providing free legal and social services to detained adults and children facing removal proceedings, through direct service, partnerships within the community, and advocacy and outreach efforts.

Founded in 1881, HIAS is a Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 16 countries. We advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives. Together, we can create a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom.

The National Immigrant Justice Center is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation, and public education.

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