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AILA Doc. No. 19053030 | Dated May 22, 2019
The American Immigration Council released key DOJ guidance that may help you if your clients are facing removal from the United States. These materials—publicly available for the first time—address motions before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), including stays of removal.
Motions to stay removal are critical in preventing the devastating—and at times life-threatening—consequences of unlawful or unjust deportations. Yet, until now, the government has failed to disclose how it decides these motions.
The documents released by the American Immigration Council are a practical guide on how the BIA adjudicates stay motions as well as other motions. They include training materials and internal guidance that provides insight into how the BIA operates generally. In particular, the materials include the BIA's Standard Operating Procedures on Adjudicating Emergency Stays, the most current set of BIA protocols governing stay motions.
The American Immigration Council obtained these documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit it filed with the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.
|Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Handling Emergency Stay Motions Filed with the BIA||June 28, 2016||Internal Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) manual on adjudicating emergency stays of removal, including guidance on how emergency stay motions are screened and processed by BIA staff, and how parties are notified of stay decisions. Although the document is labelled draft, the agency confirmed that this is the operative version of the manual as of May 2019.|
|Stay SOP Appendix A: How to Process a Stay with the BIA’s Emergency Stay Unit (ESU) Quick Reference Guide||Undated||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Guide for staff responding to calls to 703-306-0093, the BIA ESU telephone number|
|Stay SOP Appendix B: ESU Email Protocol/Guidelines||March 11, 2016||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Guide for staff responding to inquiries to the BIA ESU email address for intra-government use|
|Stay SOP Appendix C: Useful Information for Contacting Deportation Officers||Undated||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Suggestions for BIA ESU staff seeking to contact deportation officers|
|Stay SOP Appendix D: Removal Information Request Process||Undated||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Guide for staff responding to intra-governmental requests to BIA ESU to check if an individual has been removed|
|Stay SOP Appendix E: Stay Request Phone Log and Worksheet||March 15, 2016||Appendix to the Stay SOP|
|Stay SOP Appendix F: Stay Circulation Sheet and Orders—Templates and Samples||March 5, 2019||Appendix to the Stay SOP|
|Stay SOP Appendix G: Fax Transmission Sheet||Undated||Appendix to the Stay SOP|
|Stay SOP Appendix H: FAQ Regarding Emergency Stays Before the BIA||April 7, 2017||Appendix to the Stay SOP|
|Stay SOP Appendix I: Sample Monthly Report and Schedule||April 3, 2017||Appendix to the Stay SOP|
|Stay SOP Appendix J: IP Phone and Voicemail Guide||September 20, 2016||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Internal guide for staff on telephone/voicemail use|
|Stay SOP Appendix K: Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Hazardous Weather Office Closure ESU Procedures||Undated||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Guide for emergency procedures in the case of emergency events|
|Stay SOP Appendix L: Closure Stay Line Telephone and Email Greeting Change||Undated||Appendix to the Stay SOP: Labelled Appendix K but listed as Appendix L in the SOP index|
|VIDEO: The Board's Emergency Stay Process||Undated||BIA training video outlining how staff handle emergency stay motions; length: 13.54|
|Jurisdictional Issues and Motions: Training Checklist||October 28, 2013||Checklist/outline for BIA paralegals who screen motions addressing jurisdictional issues|
|Adjudicating Motions: Procedural Issues and Related Developments; Substantive Law Developments and Advanced Issues||June 6, 2018||EOIR PowerPoint presentation training regarding substantive law in the area of motions generally, including motions for stays of removal|
|Adjudicating Motions||Undated||Outline of general information regarding adjudicating motions generally, not including motions for stays of removal|
|The Exclusionary Rule in Immigration Proceedings and Motions to Suppress||April 30, 2018||Legal overview of the exclusionary rule and its interplay with motions to suppress in removal proceedings|
|Quick Reference: Motions to Suppress and Alienage||Undated||Chart of BIA and courts of appeals law outlining different topics related to motions to suppress|
|Issue Sheet||October 2018||Brief internal screening checklist for motions to reopen filed with the BIA|
|Motions Involving Jurisdictional Issues||2012||PowerPoint training for BIA paralegals on jurisdictional issues, primarily related to motions to reopen and motions to reconsider|
|Adjudicating Motions Basic Principles||Fall 2015||PowerPoint training primarily focused on substantive legal principles that apply when screening and adjudicating motions to reopen and reconsider|
|Case Access System for EOIR (CASE) Data Entry Course Lesson Plan||July 16, 2010||Internal instructional manual on how to navigate EOIR database for recording and tracking cases, and entering applications, events, and disposition of cases|
|BIA Style Manual: A Guide to Drafting Board Decisions||March 6, 2019||Internal BIA manual that: provides guidance to BIA staff on tasks including drafting and issuing decisions, conducting initial case screening, and compiling records of proceedings; addresses formatting, style, tone, and general legal citation principles|
|Entering Motions Process (SOP)||Undated||Flowchart describing how BIA staff enter information about filed motions into CASE|
|Screening Cheat Sheet||October 18, 2018||One-page cheat sheet for BIA staff screening filed motions|
|11-Step Detained and Non-Detained Case Appeal Screening Outline||Undated||Guide for inputting appeals into CASE, including for vulnerable populations, including screenshots from the CASE system|
|Immigration Claims Process Worksheet||Undated||Worksheet to be completed with the procedural history for individuals who file motions to reopen|
|Workflow—High Level Chart||Undated||Flowchart on handling a case during file preparation, pre-adjudication, and adjudication, including corresponding duties of each BIA staff member|
|AUDIO: BIA Paralegal Training||Undated||Audio training to paralegals on BIA procedure and how to screen motions; length: 2:20:40|
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19053030.