Hey, I have immigration court on Tuesday. Will it go forward?

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.

Say the government closes at midnight Monday night. What will happen if you have immigration court on Tuesday? The White House and federal agencies put out guidance. Immigration courts function thanks to two agencies. The immigration court itself is part of a Department of Justice component, the Executive Office for Immigration Review. This is what the Deparment of Justice  has to say about the Executive Office for Immigration Review:

Excepted employees are needed to process all immigration cases and appeal s involving detained aliens, including criminal aliens; provide Headquarters oversight of excepted functions; provide administrative support for excepted functions; and preserve jurisdictional viability of discrimination cases within the Administrative Law Judge function.

According to the DOJ, 70 percent of EOIR employees will be furloughed.

The other player in immigration court is the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, also known as the Office of Chief Counsel. According to DHS,  DHS will only furlough 4016 of its 19,810 employees, or 20 percent of them. There is no specific information about how this will affect the chief counsel who represent the government in immigration court.

According to the information that has now been provided, immigration courts will only handle detained cases. Presumably, ICE chief counsel attorneys will be available for these hearings. Non-detained cases will be continued.

So, if the government closes on Tuesday and you have a detained case, it will go forward. If you have a non-detained case, it will not go forward. When will you know? Probably not till you show up for court on Tuesday. Pity those traveling thousands of miles for court that may be canceled.  Posted September 29, 2013.


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