EOIR/AILA Liaison Agenda
November 8, 2000
(EOIR Response in italics)
(1) I-130 Visa Petitions. In light of the recent backlogs of adjudicating spousal visa petitions by the
INS, it may be more practical for the Immigration Judges to have jurisdiction over I-130 Visa
Petitions filed after the Beneficiary-Respondent is in deportation proceedings. With time delays
taking over a period of one to three years, many of the I-130 Petitions are transferred to the local
district offices for an interview. With time delays, the INS trial attorneys are not willing to grant
continuances until adjudication of the visa petition. The refusal to grant continuances occurs with
marriages before and after proceedings commence. Further, families are fearful of being separated
by the ten-year bar imposed under INA § 212(a)(9)(B)(II). These are harsh consequences and create
genuine hardship issues on the families involved.
AILA would like to propose amending the regulations to allow the Immigration Judge the authority
to adjudicate the I-130 Visa Petition, since it is the underlying petition which the Immigration Judge
can grant adjustment of status under § 245(a). This would promote judicial efficiency (unnecessary
hearing time of other forms of relief which may be available to the Respondent) and save money.
Would EOIR be open to such an amendment to the regulations?
The Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) is aware of this issue and is currently
evaluating the situation. Although the evaluation has not yet been completed, the OCIJ expects to
consider various options to help improve the situation, including, but not limited to, possible
(2) So far 13 practitioners have been suspended under the new professional conduct regulations.
Those suspensions were based on disciplinary actions in other jurisdictions. While AILA shares
EOIR's desire to maintain a high standard of practice before the Immigration Courts and the Board,
AILA must ensure that "zealous representation" is not chilled. With those issues in mind, what
criteria will EOIR OGC use in initiating, pursuing and terminating investigations based on
complaints filed directly with EOIR, and what criteria will be used in deciding whether or not to
issue a NID (Notice of Intent to Discipline)?
EOIR will initiate disciplinary inquiries only if, based upon a complaint and any necessary
follow-up (such as requesting a copy of a retainer or receipt, evidencing proof of payment) it
appears that on the face of the complaint, taking all allegations to be true, a violation of one or more
of the rules occurred.
Complaints which on their face do not appear to implicate EOIR's disciplinary rules, will
be closed out, or where appropriate, referred to the admitting state(s), without notice to the attorney.
We are particularly sensitive to the notion that some complaints might be groundless or marginal
at best, and we will not contact an attorney where such circumstances are evident (and furthermore,
where the attorney might be required to contact their malpractice insurer in the event of notice of
such a disciplinary complaint, potentially causing loss of coverage or increased rates).
Complaints which appear on their face to allege facts implicating one or more of the grounds
set forth in EOIR's disciplinary rules would in most cases be "docketed" for formal "preliminary
inquiry" (8 C.F.R. § 3.104(b)). Following this internal procedure ("docketing"), we would provide
the attorney with a copy of the complaint and request his or her response. After securing the
attorney's response, the complainant would be sent a copy, requesting a reply. Responses and
replies will be required within strict time periods, unless otherwise extended upon request and for
With the complaint, response, and reply before us (this would constitute the preliminary
inquiry "report", separate from any independently conducted fact-finding or investigation), we
would have the discretion to either (1) dismiss the complaint for lack of sufficient proof (clear,
convincing, and unequivocal evidence), with a copy of the dismissal to the complainant and a "cc"
to the attorney; (2) negotiate an informal resolution or issue a warning letter or informal
admonition where we had sufficient proof to issue a Notice of Intent to Discipline ("NID"), but in
our view the misconduct was minor or; (3) in cases of serious rule violations, where we had
sufficient proof to sustain the charge ("sufficient prima facie evidence," 8 C.F.R. § 3.105(a)) and/or
could not negotiate a settlement, issue a Notice of Intent to Discipline and proceed formally before
(3) Certificates of Service by INS: AILA members report that INS Trial Attorneys will indicate date
X on a Certificate of Service, meaning the date the document is physically placed by the attorney
in the office "Out" box, then to be enveloped, postmarked or franked, and placed in the mail by
office staff. Yet receipt of the document by opposing counsel reveals that the document was, in fact,
mailed on date Y, which is often many days later from date X. Complaints have been filed with local
INS District Counsels, OPR and INS General Counsel, as yet to no effect. Other than raising this
as an issue before the Board in the course of briefing an appeal, what can Respondents' counsel
do? What is EOIR's role in policing both sides' compliance with certificate of service issues?
This question is one that should be properly addressed to the INS. With regard to a case
before the Immigration Court, the attorney can object to the document as improperly served, and
the Immigration Judge can determine what action to take, if any, to resolve the issue. With regard
to an appeal, the Board may receive arguments and rule on the effect the alleged certification
practice may have on the due process rights of the alien to effective representation or to effectively
represent himself in the particular case.
(4) 5-Day Clock for Payment of VD Bond: Under INA § 240B(b)(3) the posting of a voluntary
departure bond is mandatory. Under 8 C.F.R. § 240.26(c)(3) the bond must be posted within 5
business days of the IJ's grant of VD. Under 8 C.F.R. § 240.14 and § 3.39, an IJ's order becomes
final upon waiver of appeal or upon expiration of the time to appeal if no appeal is taken, whichever
occurs first. If an appeal on the merits is taken, the IJ's order (including the grant of VD) is not yet
final. Yet most IJs insist that the VD bond must be paid within 5 days regardless of the filing of any
appeal. Given that appeals, including judicial review, can last for many years, it makes no sense,
practically or legally, for the INS to hang on to VD bond monies for years while an appeal is
pending. What is EOIR's view or position on this issue? Is the issue under discussion between EOIR
The regulation located at 8 C.F.R. § 240.26(c)(3) (2000) expressly requires that the
voluntary departure bond be posted within 5 business days of the Immigration Judge's order, and
failure to do so will automatically vacate the voluntary departure order. An appeal to the Board has
no effect on this requirement.
(5) 150-page documentary evidence rule: The Seattle IJs have proposed a 150-page limit on
documentary evidence. The Washington state AILA chapter has gone through a formal protest
process, to no avail at the local level. The proposal is now with Chief Judge Creppy for
review. AILA's protest documents are on file with that proposal. When is Chief Judge Creppy
expected to rule on this issue? Given that no other Immigration Court (and, as far as AILA knows,
no other court or administrative tribunal in the country) has proposed to limit evidence, what is
EOIR's view on the issue?
The OCIJ is currently evaluating the Seattle proposed local rules. The OCIJ is aware of
AILA's concerns, as they have been clearly and thoroughly articulated by the Seattle AILA chapter.
The OCIJ emphasizes that both AILA and the Seattle Immigration Court's concerns will be given
(6) In one case now before the Board, a West Coast IJ, on his own motion and over the objection
of both the Respondent and the INS, called a witness for live testimony. Under Board case law IJs
are given some latitude to develop the record. But when a witness or a document is introduced by
the IJ over the objection of both parties, hasn't the IJ simply gone too far? What is EOIR's view on
If the parties object to a particular action by an Immigration Judge, such objection should
be properly made on the record at the time it occurs, and should be addressed at the appellate level.
(7) Many of our members have complained that unopposed motions often take over a year for the
Board to reach. In many cases, an unopposed remand is sought before the briefing schedule is set,
and the lack of a decision on the remand results in the necessity of the parties briefing issues that
would likely be mooted by the requested remand. Does the Board maintain a distinct docket for "fast
track" consideration of uncontested matters such Motions to Reopen or Motions to Remand? If so,
how should we call attention to these matters so as to reach the "fast track?" If not, why not?
The Board recognizes that unopposed motions to reopen following Board decisions have not
been adjudicated expeditiously on occasion. We have taken steps to remedy this. Current unopposed
motions are now handled through our Streamlining Pilot Project. Under this project, unopposed
motions, as soon as they are received by the Clerk's Office and the ROP is retrieved, are screened
by the streamlining team and given expeditious streamlining treatment by a single Board Member,
where appropriate. (Prior to the Pilot Project, the Clerk's Office had already instituted a screening
program by which unopposed Board motions to reopen were expeditiously forwarded for single
Board Member review and adjudication.)
These are new procedures that do not cover motions received before their implementation.
If counsel is aware of an unopposed motion that has not been adjudicated following a lengthy period
of time, he or she should file a motion to expedite. Such a motion will notify the Clerk's Office so
that they may retrieve the ROP for processing through the Streamlining Pilot Project.
Unopposed motions to remand and unopposed motions to reopen following a Board decision
are viewed differently. Although unopposed, motions to remand are treated as part of the appeal,
and are not reviewed by Board Members until after the briefing schedule has concluded. Briefs are
necessary because it is not until the brief is received from the INS that the Board knows the aspects
of the appeal the INS opposes, which may include the alien's request for a remand. In a case
appeal, the party is not obligated to respond to the motion to remand except through briefing. It is
our experience that the INS usually files any opposition or affirmative non-opposition to a remand
through its responsive brief. However, if the motion to remand remains unopposed following the
time for briefing, the motion is given expedited treatment through the Streamlining Pilot Project.
(8) Electronic Filing. Can you tell us what is the status of the EOIR's proposal to permit electronic
EOIR is currently discussing means to implement an electronic process that protects the
rights of aliens and practitioners. The Board is developing a pilot program for allowing electronic
filing of certain documents by the parties. It is still in the early stages of development and some
tentative understandings have been reached. The pilot program will include Seattle and Baltimore.
A third city is under consideration. The documents which can be filed electronically include the
EOIR-27, EOIR-28, and EOIR-33/BIA. Briefs may also be filed electronically.
(9) On several occasions, members have reported receiving notices from the Board Clerk's Office
concerning submissions that did not "make it" into the record. Generally, these notices have come
after the Board has decided the cases, which leads us to believe the submissions were not available
to the Board members in reaching their decisions. Obviously, we are concerned. What causes this,
what steps if any have been taken to correct the problem, and what can we do to help insure that the
submissions we send are promptly received into the record?
On occasion, a submission may not be associated with the record before the Board issues
a decision in a case. This most often occurs when a document is received by the Clerk's Office and
the record is already with the legal staff or a Board Member, particularly where the submission is
made the same day or the day before the Board's decision is issued. The Board has a system by
which any document received by the Clerk's Office after the ROP has already gone to the legal staff
is expeditiously forwarded and is noted in the database with an admonishment that the decision
should not be issued until the particular document has been associated and reviewed. We continue
to monitor this process.
(10) We continue to have severe problems resulting from delays by the INS in filing charging
documents with the Immigration Courts, compounded by the fact that INS does not notify the
respondent or counsel when the NTA is filed even where months or a year has passed since the
respondent was served. Attorneys cannot file an EOIR-28 entering appearance with the court until
the Court's file is created. Respondents often move after the NTA is served but before it is filed, and
have no way of insuring that the Immigration Court will have their current addresses. The
regulations require proof that the NTA has been served on the opposing party. 8 C.F.R. § 3.14. They
also require that all exhibits and other documents filed for consideration by the court be
"simultaneously served by the presenting party on the opposing party." 8 C.F.R. § 3.32(a). INS
apparently believes that these requirements are met when the respondent was initially served and
there is no need for them to serve respondent or counsel again when the document is filed with the
(a) Is there a time limit on how "fresh" an NTA must be before an Immigration Court
will accept it? Could EOIR adopt one, say, requiring that the NTA must have been
served upon the respondent no more than 30 days before its filing?
(b) Under EOIR regulations, is it proper for the INS to file the NTA with the Court
without simultaneously serving it upon the opposing party?
(c) Assuming that simultaneous service is required and not attempted by the INS, would termination of the proceedings be proper as a means of enforcing the requirement? If
not, what lesser alternatives are available to insure timely notification upon the
respondent and counsel?
The regulations addressing service and filing of Notices to Appear (NTAs) located at 8
C.F.R. § 3. 13 & § 3.14 (2000) are silent as to simultaneous "service" to the alien and "filing" of the
document with the Immigration Court. This is an issue of prosecutorial discretion that should be
properly addressed to the INS. With respect to the change of address issue, the NTA clearly states
that the alien must keep the Immigration Court informed of his or her current address.
(11) We continue to have severe problems with INS moving detained respondents to the ends of the
earth after they have retained counsel. We know that venue may be changed by the IJ and that this
may be of partial assistance to at least keep the hearing site local. However, even if the hearings are
conducted locally, the separation of respondent from counsel between hearings greatly complicates
and delays preparation of the case, which impairs efficient and fair consideration by the IJ. Is there
anything else that can be done to correct this problem?
This question is one that should be properly addressed to the INS.
(12) On previous occasions, we have discussed procedures available for expressing concerns about
sitting IJs. Is there any way AILA can contribute input on IJ candidates during the selection process?
The OCIJ has spent many years developing an Immigration Judge selection process that is
balanced, fair, effective and offers a meaningful evaluation of Immigration Judge candidates. The
current process is successful, and the OCIJ is fully satisfied with it and does not believe that any
changes are necessary at this time.
(13) We understand that there are three new Board Members. Please tell us about them and, if
convenient, we would love to meet them at our meeting on Nov. 8.
The new Board Members are Noel Brennan, who arrived in July of this year, and Cecelia
Espenoza and Juan Osuna, both of whom arrived in August. Attached is a press release dated July
31, 2000 on these three appointments.
(14) Please update us on the activities of the Pro Bono Coordinator. Have any changes been
undertaken to increase the availability of representation on important cases at the Board level?
We have developed a pilot program with Steve Lang, the Pro Bono Coordinator, to increase
representation of detained aliens in important cases before the Board. A Fact Sheet dated November
7, 2000, is available on EOIR's pro bono webpage. The program should be
instituted shortly, after operational details are resolved. Under the plan, attorneys from pro bono
organizations will be screening certain categories of detained cases, selected from a database report
run by the EOIR pro bono coordinator, in which briefing schedules have been set. The categories
include INS appeals, cases certified to the Board by the Immigration Judge, and other categories
selected by pro bono organizations which can be identified by customized reports. The extent of the
screened categories will depend on the level of pro bono participation in the pilot program.
The screening attorneys will review the ROPs at the Clerk's Office and draft summaries of
cases deemed to be important. These summaries will be sent by e-mail to a project coordinator
(outside of EOIR), who will post the summaries electronically for review by participating pro bono
representatives. If a representative wishes to accept a case, he or she will notify the project
coordinator, who will then send an EOIR-27 and an information sheet to the detained alien,
explaining the purpose of the pro bono program. If the alien desires representation, he or she will
sign the form and mail it directly to the representative. The representative must file the EOIR-27
before the initial 30-day briefing period for the alien expires. When received, the Clerk's Office will
reset the briefing schedule, and send a copy of the ROP and the transcript to the representative. The
pilot program will last approximately six months and will be evaluated at the end of that time period.
(15) We have been receiving some decisions from the Board that have involved unexpected
procedures. For example, opposed motions to reopen or reconsider panel decisions have been
decided by a single member. One member reports having an appeal dismissed by the Board after a
briefing schedule was set, but before any briefs were due or filed, and without any indication that
the appeal was being dismissed summarily for cause under 8 C.F.R. § 3.1(d)(2).
(a) Aside from ruling on unopposed motions and the new "affirmance without opinion" cases, what other actions are authorized for a single Board member? Are these
powers authorized by regulation, or delegated from the Chairman? If delegated, may
we be provided with any memoranda or other documentation confirming the
delegation so that our members will know what to expect?
(b) Where an EOIR-26 Notice of Appeal indicates that a brief will be filed, the case is
transcribed and a briefing schedule set, is it proper for a Board panel to dismiss the
appeal before the briefs are due? Under what circumstances? May we be provided
any memoranda or other documentation concerning this practice so that our members
will know what to avoid?
(a) Single Board Member review of certain cases is authorized both by regulation and by
the Chairman's direction. Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 3.1(d)(2)(ii) the Chairman may provide for
summary dismissal of appeals under § 3.1(d)(2)(i) by a single Board Member. The Chairman has
so directed and has designated the Board Members who have this authority.
Under § 3.1(a), a single Board Member may adjudicate an unopposed motion, a motion to
withdraw an appeal, an INS motion to remand in a visa petition case, a remand required because
of a missing or defective transcript, or other procedural or ministerial issues as provided by the
Chairman. The Chairman may also designate certain categories of cases to be appropriate for
summary affirmance without opinion by a single Board Member. The Chairman has designated
certain procedural or ministerial issues for single-Board Member adjudication, and has also
designated categories of cases that may be affirmed without opinion by a single Board Member. The
Chairman has also designated which Board Members are authorized to affirm without opinion, and
which are authorized to adjudicate the designated procedural or ministerial issues. Attached is a
copy of the Board's memorandum dated August 28, 2000 (PDF), designating the categories of cases subject
to single-Board Member adjudication and the Board Members authorized to carry out these
designations. Also attached is a copy of the Board's memorandum dated November 1, 2000 (PDF), further
describing the categories of cases appropriate for affirmance without opinion.
(b) It is not the usual practice of the Board to dismiss an appeal before expiration of the
briefing schedule. There is no official policy or directive as to when it may be appropriate to do
so. The Board cannot comment on the propriety of doing so in a particular set of circumstances
absent further information. Again, a party who believes that the Board has acted incorrectly may
file a motion to reconsider.
(16) On September 1, 2000, AILA and nine other organizations filed joint comments on the
Proposed "Soriano" Rule [§212(c) Relief for Certain Aliens in Deportation Proceedings Before April
24, 1996, 65 Fed. Reg. 44,476 (July 18, 2000)]. When might we expect EOIR's response to
comments? What is the current projected time frame for the Soriano Rule? What additional
information from AILA would be helpful now?
Comments to the Proposed "Soriano" Rule are currently under consideration by the
(17) Recently, TeleVideo merit hearings were conducted in Cleveland, Ohio. Several cases were
in reference to asylum claims which require a finding of credibility of the Applicant by the IJ. The
claims further involved physically visible injuries and/or markings upon the Applicant's person.
What safeguards are being implemented by EOIR with respect to the Applicant's procedural and due
process rights being promoted during the hearing process? Television viewing is an artificial means
of judging an Applicant's credibility and forms illusionary and perhaps distorted realities. Further,
is it possible that the Applicants can request a merit hearing in person? Should not distance and
remote locations be factors in utilizing this artificial hearing process?
EOIR is working on improving the quality of the equipment and augmenting the technology
to further enhance the hearing process. To the extent that AILA is concerned about the Immigration
Judge's assessment of visible physical injuries, the OCIJ would note that there are numerous
methods of entering such evidence into the record, such as verbally describing the injuries or
(18) Despite recent expansion, it appears that demand has once again caught up with EOIR's "800"
telephone docket line. It is very difficult and often impossible to get through during business hours.
(a) Are there any plans for further expansion of the docket line to alleviate the bottleneck?
(b) Is it possible for the same docket information to be available through the EOIR website?
(a) The number of calls received on the 1-800 line has increased threefold in the last year.
Last year we increased the number of lines from 16 to 24; the maximum number our current
hardware can hold. We are procuring new hardware (servers and telephone interface boards) and
are developing the specifications which will move us from the current analog system to one using
digital lines thus allowing more lines and better monitoring. This should be completed by March
(b) We are working to develop an Internet page which will allow the public to access the
same info that is currently available on the 1-800 line. Estimated completion of the Internet page
is next year.
(19) The "certification" process under 8 C.F.R. § 3.1(c) and § 3.7 seems shrouded in mystery. Will
EOIR reveal procedures beyond the bare letter of the regulations? Will EOIR release (and/or post
to its website) statistics regarding how many cases are on certification?
The regulations are quite specific regarding the procedures for certifying a case to the
Board, including provisions for notice to the parties and the filing of briefs. These are the
procedures EOIR follows. It is unclear what other specific matters interest AILA regarding the
certification process. There were 127 cases certified to the Board by Immigration Judges in fiscal
year 2000 and of those, 66 remain pending. This number also includes cases which were remanded
to the Immigration Judge with instructions to certify the case back to the Board after the reason for
the remand was accomplished. With respect to cases certified to the Attorney General, the Board's
role is to forward the record and serve the Attorney General's decision. Any other procedures are
determined by the Attorney General. There are only a small number of such cases currently
The regulation located at 8 C.F.R. § 3.1(c) permits the Immigration Judge to certify a
decision to the Board, and is quite specific regarding the procedures for certifying, including
provisions for notice to the parties and the filing of briefs. The OCIJ leaves it to the individual
Immigration Judge's discretion to determine when an issue warrants certification to the Board.
(20) In asylum cases, IJs frequently require document authentication and consequently trial
attorneys send documents to embassies abroad for this purpose. This practice presents many
problems. First, it causes serious confidentiality problems, as the embassy personnel may (or perhaps
must) contact the home country government regarding the documents. Second, the home-country
information may be of questionable reliability. Third, frequently the embassies initially find that
genuine documents are fraudulent, but if the attorney pursues the issue and re-sends the documents,
the documents previously found fraudulent are found genuine. While we appreciate the need for
authentication of documents, we would ask EOIR to adopt methods that do not compromise the
asylum applicant's confidentiality and present other problems.
This question is one that should be properly addressed to the INS. The OCIJ notes, however,
that to the extent United States Embassies are used to authenticate documents, we presume that the
State Department is sensitive to any asylum confidentiality issues that may arise.
(21) We would appreciate some information on how the "record" before the Board is compiled,
what is considered a part of the "record," and how we may have access to it, if necessary.
(a) If documents are submitted to the IJ during a hearing and, for whatever reason, the IJ decides not to admit or consider them, are they in the record received by the
Board? Assuming they are, does the Board review these documents as part of its de
novo review of the IJ's decision?
(b) In some cases, IJs have been known to remove documents from the record and return them to counsel when the IJ has decided not to admit or consider them. Is this
proper? How can counsel preserve the issues for appeal where the IJ insists on doing
(c) Are there regulations or internal guidelines describing how the appellate record is
compiled, and what must be contained in it? If these guidelines are not in the
regulations or otherwise publicized, may we receive copies for dissemination to our
(d) How may an attorney who was not representing the respondent before the IJ obtain
copies of the "appellate record," aside from the transcript of testimony that is
routinely prepared and served?
(e) In cases such as motions to reopen where no transcript is prepared, how may an attorney obtain a copy of the cassette tapes from the record?
(a) & (b) The Board does not require that Immigration Judges associate with the record
documents that were not admitted or considered at the hearing. While some judges do accept the
documents for identification purposes only and associate them with the record, others do not.
However, if counsel wishes to raise the rejection of the evidence as an issue on appeal, he or she
may make a proffer before the Board of the evidence that was sought to be admitted, and the Board
will rule on the merits of the judge's rejection. If the Board finds that the evidence should have been
admitted, it may remand the record for its inclusion, and for the entry of a new decision by the
(c) The regulations concerning the contents of the record may be found at 8 C.F.R. § 240.9.
The Board does not have internal guidelines regarding compilation of the appellate record, other
than the order in which certain standard documents are to be physically placed in the file.
(d) An attorney representing an alien on appeal, but who did not represent him or her before
the Immigration Court, may come to the Clerk's Office to view the record. He or she may also make
a request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The Clerk's Office does not
otherwise make copies of the record, other than the transcript of the hearing and the Immigration
Judge's decision. We point out that the alien should have copies of the record in any event. He or
she should have copies of documents he or she presented, and the INS is required under 8 C.F.R.
§ 3.32 to serve on the alien copies of all documents it submits during the proceedings. If the alien
was represented by prior counsel during the Immigration Court proceeding, that attorney has an
ethical responsibility to turn over all documents to the new attorney.
(e) In cases of a motion to reopen where no transcript is prepared, counsel may listen to the
hearing tapes at the Immigration Court. The Board does not provide copies of tapes. If counsel
wants a transcript of the underlying proceeding, counsel may make such a request to the Board,
explaining why the transcript is necessary.
(22) Discovery issues with FOIA delays
FOIA is an attorney's only means of obtaining documents from INS. INS is taking an
exceedingly long time in processing FOIA requests and generally will not expedite for cases in
proceedings. IJs are generally reluctant to continue cases to await service of the FOIA request by
INS. This is a serious problem, as it impairs effective representation. What can EOIR do to help
with this situation?
This question is one that should be properly addressed to the INS.
(23) A respondent has the opportunity to present evidence in his or her own behalf. 8 C.F.R. 250.10.
Further "the immigration Judge shall not accept an admission of removability from an unrepresented
respondent who is incompetent or under the age of 16 and is not represented by an attorney or legal
representative, near relative, legal guardian, or friend…"
In light of the Elian Gonzalaez issue, AILA members have valid concerns that the INS may seek to
permit asylum claims from minors. Any comments?
This question should be directed to the INS. EOIR cannot comment on the appropriateness of the
INS's actions in this regard.
(24)In many cities, teams of evaluators were sent out to evaluate the courtroom practice, take
comments from the private bar, address issues and concerns of local attorneys. With this information,
they were to make evaluations on the practice and procedure of specific courts. What, if anything,
occurred after these evaluations? Was any actions required to be taken within the court systems?
Is AILA privy to comments received and actions, if any, taken on their reports?
The purpose of the Immigration Court Evaluations is to ensure that the Chief Immigration
Judge is in compliance with 8 C.F.R. § 3.9 (2000). Consequently, the primary purpose of the
evaluations is to provide for an internal review of the Immigration Courts. Each member of the
Court Evaluation Team is given a copy of the comments submitted by members of the private bar.
These comments are fully considered by the Court Evaluation Team during the individual court
evaluations. Morever, members of the private bar who submit comments are given the opportunity
to meet with the Court Evaluation Team. Further, the Court Evaluation Team schedules meetings
with the local AILA representative to discuss any concerns.
Updated September 2010