Friday, August 17, 2018

Attorney General Sessions Continues on Quest to Speed Up Removal Cases

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has intervened in another Board of Immigration Appeals matter (for previous interventions, click here and here) in an attempt to speed up the processing of cases in the immigration courts. 

In Matter of L-A-B-R- et al., 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018), Sessions ruled that 

(1) An immigration judge may grant a motion for a continuance of removal proceedings only "for good cause shown." 8 C.F.R. § 1003.29.

(2) The good-cause standard is a substantive requirement that limits the discretion of immigration judges and prohibits them from granting continuances for any reason or no reason at all.

(3) The good-cause standard requires consideration and balancing of multiple relevant factors when a respondent alien requests a continuance to pursue collateral relief from another authority—for example, a visa from the Department of Homeland Security. See Matter of Hashmi, 24 I&N Dec. 785, 790 (BIA 2009).

(4) When a respondent requests a continuance to pursue collateral relief, the immigration judge must consider primarily the likelihood that the collateral relief will be granted and will materially affect the outcome of the removal proceedings.

(5) The immigration judge should also consider relevant secondary factors, which may include the respondent’s diligence in seeking collateral relief, DHS’s position on the motion for continuance, concerns of administrative efficiency, the length of the continuance requested, the number of hearings held and continuances granted previously, and the timing of the continuance motion.
Voice of America reports on the matter here.  that report sees the ruling as "seeking to speed up the handling of deportation cases, telling immigration judges they should only issue continuances in immigrant removal proceedings for `good cause.'”  He ruled that immigration judges could grant motions for continuances in removal cases “only ‘for good cause shown.’”  The “good-cause standard,” he noted, “limits the discretion of immigration judges and prohibits them from granting continuances for any reason or no reason at all.”
KJ

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2018/08/attorney-general-sessions-order-to-speed-immigration-cases.html

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