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U.S. Department of Justice
Executive Office for Immigration Review
Office of the Director
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600
Falls Church, Virginia 22041

August 31, 2006 (REVISED)

EOIR’s BIA Grants Fewer Extensions of Briefing Deadlines for Detained Cases
Extension Time Period Remains at 21 Days

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – In an effort to reduce detention time for aliens in removal proceedings who have filed case appeals with the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR’s) Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), beginning August 14, 2006, the BIA has been granting fewer extensions of initial briefing deadlines.  However, the agency has not shortened briefing extension deadlines from 21 days to 15 days, as previously announced in a Federal Register notice (Vol. 71, No. 135, p. 40151 / July 14, 2006) and in a news release issued on July 26, 2006 (now obsolete).  The time period granted for an extension of an initial briefing deadline remains at the current 21 days. 

This revision to the previous notice and news release is the BIA’s prompt response to input from stakeholders indicating that a shorter briefing schedule may make it more difficult for detained aliens to obtain legal representation.

The federal courts and aliens, through litigation, have expressed concerns about the amount of time detained aliens are in proceedings and, consequently, remain detained.  As part of an EOIR-wide effort to respond to these concerns and reduce the amount of time a detained alien is in proceedings, the BIA has implemented, in general, the following new practice:

This new practice applies only to cases involving detained aliens, and only for requests to extend the initial deadline by which both parties (the alien/alien’s legal representative and the government/Department of Homeland Security) must file their briefs for a case appeal before the BIA.  It will eliminate the unintended delays that often occur when both parties file requests to extend the briefing deadline within days of each other and, consequently, two separate extensions are granted.

The new procedure applies to extension requests filed on or after August 14, 2006, as indicated in the revised Federal Register notice that appears in Vol. 71, No. 169, p. 51856, August 31, 2006 .

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EOIR is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases. Specifically, under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR interprets and administers federal immigration laws by conducting immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. EOIR consists of three components: the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is responsible for managing the numerous immigration courts located throughout the United States where immigration judges adjudicate individual cases; the Board of Immigration Appeals, which primarily conducts appellate reviews of immigration judge decisions; and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, which adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to providing fair, expeditious, and uniform application of the nation's immigration laws in all cases.

Information about EOIR immigration proceedings is available on EOIR's website at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/ press/subject.htm.



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