A federal judge suspended a rule established in recent months by the Government of Donald trump (2017-2021) that restricted immigrants’ access to immigration courts and reversed certain processes such as voluntary departure, organizations that demanded the measure reported Monday.
Judge Richard J. León of the District of Columbia Court put the measure on hold in response to a lawsuit filed by five organizations alleging that the rule “illegally deprives immigrants of access to a full and fair hearing” in an immigration court.
What’s more, “Limits your right to present evidence and select legal counsel of your choice, and eliminates essential means of obtaining immigration assistance”the organizations explained in a statement.
The rule was issued on December 16, 2020 by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), an agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that administers the nation’s immigration courts.
The Trump administration’s guidelines drastically reduce the time allowed for filing legal briefs in cases, which, according to plaintiffs, makes it much more difficult for immigrants to find an attorney to represent them on appeals.
They also reverse the procedures to determine voluntary departure, and remove the authority of immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to administratively close the procedures or reopen them under its authority, among other changes.
In his brief, Judge León affirmed that the plaintiffs “have shown probable irreparable damage if the suspension is not carried out.”
The magistrate will wait for the government of the president Joe biden decide to defend the rule. It is not clear what the new Administration’s position is on the inherited measure.
The lawsuit was filed last January by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Brooklyn Defense Services (BDS), the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP), the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).
In a joint statement sent Monday, the plaintiffs noted that they filed the lawsuit “to prevent devastating changes in immigration court procedure from taking effect.”
“We are grateful that our lawsuit led the court to suspend the rule as we continue our legal fight to permanently end it.”they added.
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