AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

New Rule Seems Designed to Halt Valid Immigration Court Petitions By Drastically Hiking Fees

2/28/20 AILA Doc. No. 20022800. Asylum, Removal & Relief
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Trump administration submitted a proposed ruleto the Federal Register that would detrimentally impact individuals seeking a fair day in immigration court. The fees would apply when forms were submitted to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) which is part of the Department of Justice. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released the following statement:

“Unlike U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which is a fee-based agency, the vast majority of EOIR’s funding is allocated as part of the appropriations process. This rule is being rationalized by EOIR as necessary to recoup costs, but by drastically increasing these fees, it will lock immigrants out of due process. Among other alarming consequences, the rule will exponentially increase the cost of appealing cases. The new high cost will undoubtedly prevent people from appealing clearly erroneous immigration court decisions to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) merely because they do not have the money. Because cases are required to go to the BIA before being appealed to Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Department of Justice is effectively blocking people from challenging them in federal court. The hike will also make it harder for people to apply for relief that they are entitled to, including cancellation of removal, and to ask the court to reopen or reconsider their cases. The result will be a ‘pricing out’ of justice for many individuals and families.”

Among the changes:

  • Increase Form EOIR-26 from $110 to $975 – this is the form to appeal the decision of an immigration judge.
  • Increase Form EOIR-29 from $110 to $705 - this is the form to appeal a decision from a DHS officer.
  • Increase Form EOIR-42A from $100 to $305 - this is the form to apply for cancellation of removal for certain permanent residents.
  • Increase Form EOIR-42B from $100 to $360 - this is the form to apply for cancellation of removal for certain nonpermanent residents.
  • Increase the fee for filing a motion to reopen or reconsider by varying amounts of up to $895.
  • Require that asylum applicants pay a $50 fee