Executive Office for Immigration Review Proposes Interim Final Rule to Add Two Members to Board of Immigration Appeals
FALLS CHURCH, VA – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) submitted to the Federal Register for publication an interim final rule with a request for comments that is now available for public inspection and is expected to publish in tomorrow’s Federal Register. The interim rule amends Department of Justice regulations relating to the organization of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) by expanding the number of Board members from 21 to 23. The proposed expansion will more efficiently accomplish EOIR’s commitment to promptly decide a large volume of cases, as well as review a large quantity of appeals of those cases. Written comments regarding the interim rule will be considered if submitted per the instructions in the publication.
The timely and impartial adjudication of cases is the highest priority for EOIR, and EOIR requires additional Board members to manage the agency’s growing caseload. The pending caseload at the BIA essentially doubled from FY 2018 to FY 2019, from 35,503 to 70,183. Furthermore, due to increased inflows of illegal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security filed 504,848 new cases with EOIR in FY 2019, an increase of nearly 200,000 new cases over FY 2018 and the highest single-year total in EOIR’s history. Further, EOIR has made concerted efforts in recent years to hire more immigration judges, hiring 237 between the beginning of FY 2017 and the end of FY 2019, more than the previous seven fiscal years combined. As both the number of new cases and the number of immigration judges increase, EOIR anticipates that the caseload at the BIA will also continue to increase, warranting a need for additional Board members.