Department of Justice
Executive Office for Immigration Review
May 3, 1999
EOIR Begins Special Procedures to Comply with Annual Cap
on Suspension of Deportation and Cancellation of Removal
Decisions Will Be Reserved in Cases Completed After May 3
FALLS CHURCH, VA - The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has estimated that, as of April 30, 1999, approximately 3,800 applications for suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal (suspension/cancellation) have been granted in immigration proceedings in the current fiscal year. Immigration law limits such grants to no more than 4,000 per fiscal year. Effective immediately, therefore, applications for suspension/cancellation adjudicated by the Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals (the Board) will be handled according to procedures adopted in the interim rule published in the Federal Register September 30, 1998, so that the annual cap of 4,000 grants will not be exceeded.
[Suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal is a relief from forced removal that may be granted under discretionary authority to aliens of good moral character who meet certain statutory requirements of long-term presence in the United States and who can show that they or a spouse, child, or parent would suffer hardship if they were removed.]
The new procedures that go into effect on May 3 require Immigration Judges and the Board to reserve their decisions on all applications for suspension/cancellation that are subject to the annual cap, unless they can deny them on statutory grounds other than hardship. Then EOIR will assign the remaining numbers available in fiscal year 1999 by issuing final grants on a case-by-case, "first-in-time" basis in the order they are adjudicated.
Each grant of suspension/cancellation will be counted against the cap for the fiscal year until the maximum of 4,000 is reached. Any remaining reserved decisions will be deferred until the next fiscal year, which begins October 1, 1999.
The interim rule establishing these procedures was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 1998, amending Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR) with a new section 240.21.
- EOIR -
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals interpret and adjudicate immigration cases according to United States immigration laws. EOIR's immigration judges conduct administrative court proceedings in immigration courts located throughout the nation. They determine whether foreign-born individuals—whom the Department of Homeland Security charges with violating immigration law—should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief from removal and be permitted to remain in this country. The Board of Immigration Appeals primarily reviews appeals of decisions by immigration judges. EOIR's Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to ensuring fairness in all of the cases it adjudicates.