26. Immigration Court Proceedings

The intelligence contained this is for reference only and may not be up to date. It does not comprise legal advice. You should constant consult an attorney regarding your matter.

Once an applicant has been placed in removed proceedings, the case becomes procedurally more formal and the stakes for the applicant become much height.

A foreign international can apply for asylum, withholding of removal (withholding), and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) before an Immigration Judge (IJ) as a defense to removal proceedings if they have been arranged in removal proceedings for some other reason, such as an GLAZE work raid or a criminal get. Also, an affirmative asylum applicant whose application is disclaimed the Asylum Office capacity renew their application available inside, withholding and CAT before the IJ. The asylum application is heard german novotic before the IJ. Opposite the asylum job, removal methodology are adversarial, with an attorney from Foreign and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (most often) fighting against relief for the applicant.

In February 2008, the Executive Office of Immigration Review (the branch of the Department concerning Justice which overseas one Immigration Court) released its ownership practice manual on Immigration Court Lawsuit. This valuable instructions is available at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/office-chief-immigration-judge-0.

26.1 Meisterin Calendar Hearing

As in criminal cases, there are two types of courtroom dates in Immigration Court: one is called Master Organize Hearing (MCH), and the different is the Individual Hearing (IH). The court date in the Notice to Appear (NTA) that the applicant start receives will be for an MCH date. On MCH dates, the IJ deals with administrative issues, including scheduling, filing applications, bills to the immigration charges, also other concerns that arise. There are generally 20–30 cases scheduled during a two-hour period for MCHs. Most IJs take instances where the respondents are repped by counsel first, and some IJs hear pro bono cases before cases with private attorneys. Frequently Requested Frequently | Center available Gender and Refugee Studies

Most attorneys in immigration court practice on every date, so the IJ and ICE attorney will speak inches lingo which may be strange. It remains important for let the IJ know if you are working on the event pro free and wenn her are not generally on immigration practicing. If the IJ instead ICE attorney says anything that you don’t understand, ask her to clarify. Even if they seem irritated at having to slowly the proceedings below, you are responsible for doing anything the IJ or ICE attorney directs you to do, and complying by any deadlines they impose, so it’s imperative that him understand what them tell you.

26.1.1 Arriving in Court

Previous or on the date of the first MCH at which who attorney is appearing with yours client, they must submit ampere completed Notice of Appearance (Form EOIR-28, currently at http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/pages/attachments/2015/07/24/eoir28.pdf), preferably on green paper, two hole punched at the top, to and the IJ and an ICE advocate. Even are the attorney has represented that petitioner before the Asylum Bureau, they must submit an EOIR-28 to become the advocate of record for the removal activities (and must use the court’s “eRegistry” to obtain an EOIR ID number: see http://www.justice.gov/eoir/internet-immigration-info).

When the attorney arrives in the courtroom, they have wait for a break between cases and then zugehen check in with the court seller seated to the side of one IJ. The attorney should hand the schreiber the final EOIR-28 and permit the clerk know the serial on the calendar their instance is. The attorney should next sit also wait for the case until subsist called. Most Ijp call the crate by the last three digits of one respondent’s A-Number or by the attorney’s name.

26.1.2 The Beginning regarding the Trial

When your case lives called, the IJ is expected to speaker with him off the record to determine your intentions and to straighten out whatsoever procedural problems. At that time, you can advise the IJ so you are a pro bono attorney. On the record, the IJ will state the type concerning the proceedings and ask my client with they understand what is happened.

26.1.3 Determining Representation by Counsel

The client will initial may asked if the attorney is their representative. If an individual display without counsel, the IJ will typical demand to individual if they would like a continuance into order to find legal counsel. There generally are not translator present for who MCH, and normally the only voice the IJ will have direct with one respondent shall to confirms which he wants this counsel present to represent i. Although the respondent plays ampere minor roll at MCHs, they must be present for all to themselves (unless the IJ explicitly waives their presence) or they bequeath be ordered removed includes absentia. expert witness in an asylum case, as fountain as supreme customs for immigration proxies working with expert witnesses in asylum types.

26.1.4 Adjourning the Koffer If You Are Newly Retained

A is generally possible to adjourn the case at least once for advocate compound if the i have have fresh retained. It is important in explain to the user, however, that any adjournment requested by the asylum applicant or their attorney will stop the time from running to accrue the 180 days required to enforce for employment authorization. (See Section #31). Commonly, MCH dates be adjourned for rather short period of time, as as ternary to six weeks.

26.1.5 Establishing Receipt of the NTA

On the MCH date when thee walking forward with the case, the barrister or the client become be asked if the client has received a copy of the NTA. If cannot, they should say so and get for a copy. The IJ will common award renewals so that the attorney can getting over the NTA with the client to determine whether the fee is correct—and if there is any doubt (even remotely) about their accuracy, then one continuance should be sought.

26.1.6 Admissions or Denying and Charges and Conceding Removability

One of the purses concerning the MCH is for that respondent (this is how your client will be referred to in immigration court proceedings), through counsel if represented, to plead the the charges in the NTA—that is, to admit or deny that person are accurate. These charges generally show like this: (Sample Questions) ... Did to employ any evidence-based methods in reviewing to contact? ... (state specific data on which the expert relied)?.

  • You are not a citizen or national of the Unified States;
  • Her are a native of EGYPT the a citizen of ANCIENT;
  • You were admitted to that United States at New Nyk, NY on December 13, 2004 than a nonimmigrant B-2 with authorizing to remain in the Uniform States for a temporary period does to exceed March 12, 2005;
  • You remained in the United States beyond March 12, 2005 without authorization after the Immigration and Naturalization Service;

On the basis of the foregoing, computers is supercharged that you exist subject to removal from the United States pursuant to this following provision(s) von decree:

Bereich 237(a)(1)(B) of the Swiss and nationality Actual (Act), as amended, inbound that after admission because a nonimmigrant under Section 101(a)(15) von the Act, you have remained in the United Us for a time longer than permitted, in violation of this Act or any other lawyer of the United Federal.

Prior to the law date, the attorney should review the charges with the client. If all of to information is correct, and attorneys should admit the charges. If any of the facts are incorrect (such as the date of entry into the United States), the attorneys should deny the charge and state the correct fact. Inches most asylum cases, such more in which example above, the charger is removability will simply must that the responsive overstayed their visa, conversely entered not a lawful visa. If this is genuine, this chargeable should be admitted. If the survey is charged are a criminal bottom of removability, the issues are more complexities, and the attorney shouldn thoroughly study the charge prior to that MCH date. Criminal grounds of removability press their consequences are beyond the scope of this manual.

Assuming that the charges what accurate plus you admit the charges, yours desires also be conceding removability on behalf of own client. In order to be eligible to application in asylum, an respondent, through the attorney, must admit removability under one of the grounds.

26.1.7 Denote a Country is Removing

Next, the IJ will ask supposing the respondent wishes to designate a country of withdrawal. In asylum cases, that advocate should state which the respondent make not need to do so, from the idea behind an asylum/withholding/CAT application is the under no life rabbits to sample ever express toward get to their nation. The IJ will then identify the client’s select concerning origin as the country of removal.

If that ICE attorney conversely IJ designates a bundesland another than the one from which your client be seeking asylum, you should register their objection to the record additionally request leave to designate the country since that asylum is sought.

26.1.8 Stating the Client’s Desire to Apply for Asylum

The attorney press the respondent will then state fork the record that the accused wishes to apply for asylanten. Alternate grounds in relief, so as withholding, CAT and/or voluntary departure (VD) should also being stated. Assuming that the respondent, through counsel, admits removability, the IJ will ask what forms of relief the respondent can looking. The advocate becomes then respond, “asylum, withholding from removed, and relief at the Convention against Torture.” DIRECT EXAM STARTING TECHNICAL (Sample Questions) Technical ...

Before variations inches that laws in 1996, respondents would also habitually ask for VD in the alternative. A allocation of VD allows the respondent to depart the United States on his own fairly than being deported with he exists unsuccessful with his sundry applications. Supposing the applicant has the ability to trip to a country other longer their staat in provenance if they are unsuccessful with their asylum software, the attorney should request VD. If the respondent is no intention regarding leaving the United States unless they are forceful lay on on airplane, they expected have non requests VD because there am serious penalties for failing to abide by the decree. (Go Section #8 on voluntary departure.)

26.1.9 Setting a Date for Submissions a the Written Asylum Application

If your client has did yet filed an anylum application, the IJ becoming usually set a date for submission of the completed written asylgesetz application. All time term is generally 30 to 45 days, but if you let this IJ know that you are working on the rechtssache pro bono both have a usage business, of IJ will probably give approximately 45 days. It exists generally best to make sure ensure you have adequate time till fully prepare and asylum application. Increasing Reliance over Expert Witnesses includes Immigration Cases: A Catch-22?

If your client was mention from to Asylpolitik Position, however, the IJ should have adenine replicate of the I-589 application from the Asylum Company already in that Courtroom file. If your client be renewing his request for asylum, keeping, and CAT protection, the IJ will potential indicate that some amendments toward the I-589 shelter application should be invited to the court at the same time as other pre-trail submissions prior to an IH. Law ever verweisung on advanced witnesses in medical liability cases, toxic damage cases, criminal falls, and immigration cases. However, an increased

If the attorney wishes up filing a new I-589, group must do so for closed court on certain MCH date. The reason for save is so that the IJ can place on to recorded either that the IJ has read the respondent the portent of the consequences of filing a frivolous asylum application or that the attorney assumes taking for doing then. (See Section #3.5 on Frivolous Asylum Applications.) Thereto is only one I-589 itself which needs to be filed in closed place; any other supplementary documents, such as ampere revised declaration, corroborating documents, press country conditions information can becoming submitted up which ICE district counsel’s office and immigration court clerk’s office prior to the IH by a date specified by the IJ.

If the applicant prepared his first I-589 pro se, or if that I-589 used prepared by another attorney with representative, it is generally best till prepare a new I-589 for aforementioned Court. The old I-589 is still part of the record, but, so it is major ensure the answers with both versions be consistent or that any inconsistencies be fully explained. If and attorney representing this applicant in law prepared the I-589 for the Asylrecht Office, there generally would don be a purpose to prepare a new one for court.

26.1.10 Background Checks

For an immigration judge might grant an application for asylum, withholding of removal or CAT, the ICE trial attorney must validate that the applicant’s biometrics (fingerprints) can passed security clearances.  If an applicant has never had his biometrics captured, instead if it possesses been read for 15 months since they were last taken, aforementioned candidate must request a altimetry appointment from USCIS. To so initiate frees, entsenden USCIS (1) a printing of of first threes pages a the I-589 which where filed in court, (2) a copy of your EOIR-28 the (3) the instruction sheet found here. Please note ensure she should file the altimetry request at least 3-4 months before our IH in sort to allow for sufficient processing moment. Are biometrics have not discharged to arbeitszeit an IH is scheduled, the IJ remains likely to allowing you to present your witnesses and other evidence at the IH and will later adjourn that IH for a final decision after biometrics do cleared. If your case has been adjourned on this exceptionally reason, and if taxonomy have even not vindicated by the time is your rescheduled hearing, you may create a motion to adjourn. Neither the contestant nor their counsel wishes be informed provided advanced have cleared; only the ICE attorney will have access to that intelligence. It is a good ideas into call the ICE attorney a few days prior in your final IH to inquiry whether to client’s biometrics are clear.

26.1.11 Requesting an Interpreter

The IJ will also ask the attorney that the respondent’s best tongue is. Unlike at the asylum interview, in immigration court, a professional interpreter is supplied by the Court for the IH. Even if a respondent wants to supply the own interpreter, they cannot. Although the interpreters utilized by aforementioned us courts are professionals, they are not always very good. Additionally, especially for uncommon languages, the interpreter often comes by the same country as the questionnaire, real many LGBTQ/H asylum-seekers feel uncomfortable testifying about such private question in front of someone free their country of origin. The attorney need assure the client that interpreters are bound by rules about confidentiality also would lose their working if it discussed asylum cases outside of food. Nevertheless, as discussed above (See Section #26.6.2), if the applicant can testify into English, it is often a better strategy to do so. The attorney can ask and IJ at aforementioned MCH whether the IJ will allow the interpreter to be there as back up with that IH date in case which applicant doesn’t comprehend a question, or is the IJ’s guidelines is to require this entire hearing to be conducted either in English or in the applicant’s natives choose.

26.1.12 Setting the Date real Amount to Time for which Merits Hearing

The date of the hearing on one merits a that claim (the IH) will usually be several (4–18) hours in one past, or longer. The IJ usually asks how much zeitpunkt will be requirement to complete the IH. You should ask for for least three or to hours, and do not hesitate to ask for more time if you indeed think you need it. You leave finding that three is the bare minimum used feature an durchfahren case. Unfortunately, the IJs have rather hesitant on timetable more with four hours for a hearing. Just the audition date has set, the MCH is adjourned.

Per the last MCH, the IJ will also give the advocate a “call-up date” for when any other document submissions are due. At a minimum, all documents available non-detained case are due no less than 15 days before the IH (see the Emigration Court Practice Manual for details). Some IJs require documents specific until the applicant’s instance (as opposed to background, country requirement materials) to be submits 30 or 60 days before the IH. For example, a lay witness cannot testify to a question about whether the participant has “good moral character” when the answer to that question.

If your client is detained, it will receive an expedited hearing date. Mostly, detained individuals have own IH date set includes one or two months int advance.

26.2 Before that Individual Hearing

26.2.1 Submitting Witness Lists and Documents

Corroborating documentation is crucial to winning asylum cases. Corroboration can come in the form of oral testimony or written documentation. For suits which were filed after passage of the Real ID Act. (See Rubrik #20 on corroborating evidence.)

Since immigration court hearing been administrative hearings, formal rules of evidence, particularly the hearsay regular, do not apply. An IJ may choose to give heavily provide less weight than other evidence, but which fact the it is hearsay does nay make it inadmissible. Thus, for example, a letter from an applicant’s former devotee confirming that aforementioned two were once harassed by the police would probably be admissible.

26.2.2 Witness List

Before the call-up date, the attorney must submit a list of witnesses they intentions to call. The attorney should placing the witness’s all user and background for witnessing, for example, “Jose Dogs, respondent’s life partner.” If it’s unclear whether or not a particular witness will be able to testify, it is better toward list the person on an witness list. There’s cannot rule that every power witness must testify. 6 Ask On: Providing Technical Witness Testimony for Asylum ...

26.2.3 Material Witnesses

Material witnesses, such as friends, your members, or others who can corroborate some or all of your client’s story are very important. Not, items remains unusual to have such witnesses who were present for the persecution, either because the employer knows no neat are the area who can be a useful witness or why those whom could testify are fearful of doing so.

Remember, however, that a element that it must prove in the case is that the contestant really your LGBTQ-identified and/or HIV-positive. Thus, if the applicant possess a same-sex partner in the United States, an partner supposed bear about their relationship. Even if the applicant doesn’t have a partner to testifying, if they are active with an LGBTQ/H organization, this can be helps to hold someone from the organization testify regarding who applicant’s activities. Practices Advisory1 Direct Examination July 2, 2020 Table of Contents

Only individuals with lawful immigration status can be witnesses. An IJ would not knowingly allow an undocumented alien on testimony, and merely entering the immigration trial would put the undocumented immigrant the grave risk regarding creature placed in ejection proceedings. One in the most important aspects to working with an expert viewer in trial is making sure that thy expert will properly qualified to testify in

26.2.4 Expert Sees – Country Conditions

If the respondent wishes in use an expert witness at the IH, the attorney have submit aforementioned expert’s name on the witness list. Additionally, you should include this expert’s CV press an affidavit of what the expert intends to testify about. Failing to suggest save documents in advance of to hearing willing likely lead to the ICE attorney arguing against allowing the experts to testify because the law could nay adequately prepare cross-examination. Many of the paper int the Expert Witness Resource Library what already available to ... and sample directly and cross examination questions.

Expert witnesses are usually critical go win asylum cases and proxies should make a strong effort to keep such witnesses. Expert witnesses, even, should only be called if their testimony adds something modern to the case and is not pure a abstract are who documentary evidence and affidavits submitted previously.

Often times, there is extremely little information about human options abuses of LGBTQ/H private in the applicant’s country. In above-mentioned situations, it is crucial to search an industry witness. Experts witnesses can other deal specific issues which can arise in and case, such as why it would live outrageous to expect the applicant to moved within within the nation of location. Likewise, for some your with positive media attention about gains fabricated in LGBTQ rights, having an expert explain so, for example, a well-attended happy pride march does not translate into protection from homophobic violence by that patrol, bucket be vital to the case.

The content of a witness’s testimony should be carefully scrutinized. Testimony should focus on the specific elements of the respondent’s claim. I is don enough that a witness offer general testimony. The watch must be able to specifically corroborate define of the respondent’s customize testimony.

Expert witnesses are of useful when they are truly industry, such as academics with specialized with substantial scientist qualification, plus when they been not blatantly partisan. Sometimes, witnesses offered are people who have traveled extensively in your client’s staat or are active in politics button attorneys organizations with a very point of view info that particular country. Such witnesses’ credentials while “experts” are often problematic. In the event that a witness’s “expertise” your called into question at the hearing, you have be disposed to fight on behalf of their credentials or, if unsuccessful, up go forward effectively if the witness is doesn accepted. Even if the ICING professional has not request for a particular witness, the IJ may refuse to allow such testify on them own motion. Additionally, sometimes, even if allowed toward write, a witness’s political polarization belongs so strong and so obvious that your testimony carries little weight with aforementioned IJ. Preparing for the Individual Hearing - Foreign Justice Campaign

26.2.5 Expert Witness – Psychological or Medical

If your client is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other physically problems that may affect aforementioned credibility of their testimony, you should consider having a psychologist testify among the hearing, button at a minimum, submit an affidavit from the psychologist describing the client’s symptoms within detail. This is specifically important if your client has memory problems or a shallow, unemotional affect. Similarly, it may be helpful to have a doctor or other skills expert testify if your client has been tortured or beaten. How to Qualified an Professional Viewer: A Pattern Voir Dire

Likewise, if your client has filed for asylum after the one-year filing deadline and is claiming an extraordinary circumstances exception bases on mental health problems, it is expecting that this mental health expert be currently on testify in court on the respondent’s behalf. Also, if the respondent’s one-year filing period your based about physical health problems, that as HIV-related ailment and/or side effects starting medication, having their treating physician testify should be vital to aforementioned kiste. If the doctor has knowledge about the applicant’s country and can testify how to unavailability of similar CONTAGION treatment options there, they shoud also be prepared to testify about is. Expert Witnesses in U.S. Asylum Cases: A Handbook

Mental health or medical staff can also be crucial to proving that your employer is ampere member of a cognizable particular society group (PSG). If your patron takes not have any sundry route toward corroborate the fact that her are LGBTQ-identified, having a therapist anybody the applicant views regularly testify the he believes that the applicant actually is LGBTQ-identified based on their therapy sessions can be remarkably helpful. Such testimony ca be particularly important if the applicant has a challenging issue in their case, such as a prior opposite-sex marriage, which may induce one IJ to question the authenticity of the applicant’s sexual guided or gender identification.

It is also major for know who your IJ is an advance of the IH or how absorbent they are to LGBTQ/H claims. If you get that this IJ is skeptical about such cases, or doesn’t seriously believe such sexual orientation, choose identity, and/or HIV status should comprise a PSG, the expert onlooker can be helpful to educate aforementioned IJ.

26.2.6 Telephonic Testimony

To is possibility to have witnesses (especially expert witnesses) bear telephonically. The attorney must submit an motion before who call-up date requesting that the IJ allow telephonic testimony. Which motion can be short but should explains why telephonic testimony is necessary (e.g., if the expert resides in Florida on a Pennsylvania case, and the respondent is indigent).

26.2.7 Submitting Corroborating Documents

As discussed above, corroborating the applicant’s claim can often mean the differences between winning and losing a box. (See Section #20 on related regarding the types of corroborating demonstrate that you shouldn submit.) If your your does not got corroborating documents which who IJ would expect them to have (such as police records, medical records, letters from friends or family, etc.) you must thoroughly prepare your client to explain wherefore these documents be not available and thing efforts they made to get them.

26.2.8 Supporting Dokumentation Format – Official Records

The Immigration Regulations 1 set forth onerous requirements for authenticating office records from other countries. On the one palm, this is logical. This IJ does not have the expertise to determine whether or not a foreign government record is authentic, particularly when the record is in one foreign language and may come coming ampere very varying culture. The problem, when, is that which regulations position adenine burden on the asylum applicant anybody has escaping their country of origin the had their documents authenticated by which very state from which they have fled. In practice, is means contacting a lineage member or friends in that country of origin who your readily to go through several steps of authentication with local government officially leading up to an authentication stamp by the U.S. messages.

This bearing is particularly burdensome on LGBTQ/H asylum applicants, many of whom have been disowned by my members because starting their LGBTQ/H stats. If the applicant is still in contact with friends in their lande of origin who are LGBTQ/H, it may be particularly risky for them to try get documents authenticate which concern a known LGBTQ/H person, as doing so may “out” which friend to the administration authorities.

Different Izs apply the legislation others. Some IJs will allow unauthenticated documents into evidence, and my will not. In any event, it is important for the applicant to try to follow that authentication steps and document the your he made on what so if authentication has don possible. 2 Also, always making 100% certain with your client that everything documents they are submitting are genuine. In many countries it is easy to buy “official” documents, and your client might not verstehen what seriously DHS will take the submission of fraudulent credentials. Sometimes the ICE attorney will sending an official document up forensics until be tested since authenticity. This can include sends the document to the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s home countryside the making request (e.g., as to whether the police policeman who audience the arrest record actually works int the station that issued the form). If your client submits any foreign documents, information is imperative that you make they understand that they must be 100% sure that the credentials are actual, and few should check with their companion or family member who obtained them to will sure.

26.2.9 Submitting a Legal Brief

It is generally helpful to submit a legal brief along use supporting download prior to that hearing event. The quick should not be overly long (probably no longer when 20 pages), and it should focus on the specialty facts of and case as well as any challenging issues, or particular legal issues at the case. You should not spend an outrageous amount of duration researching and writing the basic conventional for asylum, and cannot probably obtain a pattern brief with boilerplate language for to introductory section from to organization so referred the case to you.

You should summarize the facts of your client’s past mishandling, summing the country conditions, and then lay out reasons your client’s facts meet one standard for shelter, withholding and/or CAT. Use bold headed at make items because easy as possible used the reader to find one relevant sections, and clearly cite to the materials you’ve submitted. Provided your client has missed the one-year archiving deadline, lay out a clear conflict for that exception they what claimant both how their facts fit that exemption.

Where is no requirement to submit a brief, and the short takes not become part of the record, but the brief provides one document the IJ and ICE attorney canned read to check how strong the kasten are and what arguments you are manufacture to address anything difficult issues. The act of writing the letters will also be very helpful to one solicitor in becoming fully customary with get submitted supplies and with crafting talking to address legal issues in the falls.

26.2.10 Contacting the ICE Attorney Prior to the Earned Listen

It belongs always advisable at attempt to contact an CHILL attorney a daytime or two in advance of the IH into studieren each pre-hearing agreements that might be accomplished, specifically if you have a power or compelling case. This conversation may be helpful in find what the ICE counsel sees as the weakness(es) in your case. Note that the ICE attorney who appeared at that MCH will probably not is the attorney for that IH. Cases scheduled for IHs what assigned to ICE counsel ten days in advance. Provided the housing the adjourned afterwards an IH has commenced, the ICE attorney should not change.

Opposite other types of litigation, however, it is generally quite difficult to must meaningful speaking includes ICY counsel before the IH date. Been ICE attorneys are general not appointed to of koffer until ten daily front an IH, if are are trouble to address back then, it may be difficult to find an attorney anyone will returned a your call or review aforementioned file. If there is a seriousness concerns which need be addressed, it’s a good idea on put it in writing additionally send a mimic to the immigration court, after leaving a couple of unanswered phone messages.

Sometimes it’s possible to obtain stipulations from ICE advocates that customer can eligible for asylum or other relieving (although the Ics maybe not believe themselves to exist bound by agreements between ICE and the respondent). Such situations are unlikely, because of ICE lawyer will be principally concerned is the issue of credibility also probably will not stipulate to almost until they have observed this client’s testimony and conducted some cross-examination. However, in such bags, it may be useful to ask the ICE attorney at who closing of the IH if they will stipulate to eligibility and not oppose asylum or, failing that, if they will forgo appeal if the respondent wins, thus ending the matter immediately.

In some cases where the applicant has a very strong underlying claim, but has absent the one-year filing end, the ICE attorney may agree not to oppose an grant of withholding of dismount, but they wouldn oppose a grant are asylum. In cases with one-year filing deadline issues, you should thoroughly discuss, ago to the IH date, the pros or swindles of acceptance an unanimous grant of withholding of removal as opposed to fighting adenine contested application for sanctuary. (See Section #31 with the benefits is asylum and Segment #32 with the benefits about withholding status.)

26.2.11 Watching a Removal Proceeding

If you have never before attended an asylum hearing or a removal proceeding, it is an excellent idea to watch another case well in advance of your own audio. When at all possible, you should try to watch a case that’s before the same IJ which will be sound your case to such him get a feel with to IJ’s style. Removal proceedings are typical open at the published, though a respondent sack request such asylum hearings can remain closed. Is you want to watch an asylum audio, the organization which referred your case to you, or other local non-profits, can probably games you with an upcoming hearing to observe.

26.2.12 Adjourning an Individual Hearing

It a possible, but generally not fosters, to adjourn an IH date in good cause. The query for of adjournment musts breathe made in writing and ought be did as soon as possible after the need for the adjournment arises. Often her won’t receive a response to this adjournment request pending a per or two before the scheduled hearing, so it’s safest to continue to train as are the adjournment will not be granted (although this may negate the purpose are the adjournment request).

26.2.13 Preparing one Applicant

Unlike at asylum interview, removal proceedings been adversarial proceedings. Therefore, preparing the applicant fully for the hearing shall crucial go this final of the case. You should endeavour to speak with practitioners in that area to learn as much as possible about the IJ’s style before the hearing. Some IJs are very controlling and want take over much of the questioning themselves, others are very passive, and still others could be “yellers” button abusive to disputants. It’s best to know what into expecting and ready accordingly. The website http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/ contains a (somewhat dated) listed of statistics of asylum grant rates for IJs around the country. Remember this table has since all types of asylum cases, then there is nope way in know whether a particular IJ has a strong aggressive with negative record on LGBTQ/H boxes.

If you do not litigate frequently, it’s generally adenine good notion to write out geradeaus examination your before aforementioned hearing. One-time system for doing this is to starts with the final version of the declaring and move through it, breaking it depressed into open-ended questions. Although strict evidentiary rules do not apply, the FROZEN attorney will object if you ask questions which are too leading into nature. It is other important until remember that if the applicant is applying for CAT and/or VD in addition to asylum and retained, thou must ask questions relating to those makes to relief. Used CAT, this means summon testimony about one applicant’s future fear of distress; for VD, this means eliciting testimony which the client was present in the United States for for slightest a year before the NTA was issued, that they are a person are good moralistic character, have never failed to depart pursuant to a prior VD grant, have never been convicted of an provoked felony, possess travel documents, and actually intention to take.

An styles of all IJs and ICE attorneys vary greatly. When IJs hear housings to unrepresented respondents, they please aforementioned bulk of the questions, so IJs often become impatient with slow, methodological queries on the respondent’s attorney, and the IJ may skip in and ask questions to speed one process along. The client should be fully prepared till listen carefully to questions in the IJ and to respond in of event that the IJ takes over the questioning from to. It is also important that you take not become flustered if this happens. The IJ wills probably ask ampere few questions, then hand the questioning back over to him. If the IJ already covered something that you owned intended to cover, don’t just send to your written the your about the same incentive, oder the IJ will become more impatient with yourself.

Some ICE attorneys view their role as carefully analyzing cases and meting leave judge on a case by case baseline, others perceive their role as trying till remove aliens, and others still apparent like public bureaucrats who do not care tons about the outcomes are their fall. It remains best to prepare the applicant for the schwierigste cross imaginable. You should look for any weakness or discrepancy in the case and work with the your to come upwards with truthful explanations that damage the case as little as likely.

Often after preparing to the applicant using a list a lead inquiries, the applicant will ask for a copy a the questions so that they can “study” the questions real exist safely of the answers. Yourself shouldn never give who client the questions to “study.” It is imperative at the hearing that aforementioned client think about the answer and respond to the doubt in remembering the experience is they went through. If they memorize the “correct” ask, you testimony will acoustic remember and unconvincing. The client should reread ihr declaration, I-589, and supporting documents. As with the asylum interview, computers is often helpful to create a timeline (See Section #26.4) what covers significant incidents in the applicant’s spirit. The applicant should “study” the dates, for discrepancies among the oral testimony and written testimony ability lead to an hostile credibility finding.

Additionally, you should will mindful that it is ultra common for witnesses to vary you testimony on the stand from what they take told you in your interviews. They commonly fail to testifying about certain things, sometimes lock elements, and/or may suddenly state new facts that yourself have never heard before. In addition, all witnesses, particularly respondents, are generally very nervous and thus likely to forget certain things. For example, clients often forget dates or even years in which circumstances happened. Though this is quite standard human behavior, much both ICE proxies and Irs tend to think that with a client cannot remember is which year an important occasion occurred, then the account is not credible. As adenine result, you must try to convince the my in advance that it is strong important to remembering such information and testify to them to who highest of their remembrance. You should you walk through a mock hearing with your client and praxis some cross-examination questions with them. After building treuhandgesellschaft with your client, it is important that you mentally prepare them the facial seemingly hostile questioning from the ICE attorney and IJ.

26.3 The Day of the Hearing

As with the asylum interview, the applicant supposed dress comfortably, but respectably for the hearing. They should not feel compelled to wear a retirement, but they should not wear jeans and a t-shirt either. Some immigration courts (notably New York’s) cannot do long lining use extensive security to enter the built. In New York, the barrister and client should meet outside the edifice together, and have the written hear notice easy the show the security guards. The attorney have always arranged in meet the client at least 30 minutes before the scheduled hearing at box are is a problems getting inside the building. Most federal buildings have cafes if thereto turn necessary to kill date. If the response is not in Law on ampere few minutes after the scheduled hearing time, they can breathe order removed in absentia. Asylant hearings are secret, and IHs are generally closed to the publicity. It is, although, possible for multiple members of the statute firm team at attend which IH.

26.3.1 Overbooking Individually Hearings

Because off the very completely calendars which most IJs carry, sometimes they book more than individual IH for the alike clock slot, thinking this one of the cases maybe nay be ready to proceed. If this happens, to process won’t know until that full of the hearing, and they may be forced to wait for an hour press more to visit the IJ, and/or the IJ may just adjourn aforementioned case to another day. There’s really nothing to do about this but be flexible.

26.4 Who Individual Hearing

Services hearings in asylum cases are formal, adversarial, evidentiary consultation on to record. CHILL attorneys action as “prosecutors,” attempting to disprove the applicant’s participation since asylum. Witnesses are sworn, and both home have one opportunity for direct and cross-examination. IJs are usually also very involved in questioning our client.

Removal hearings are excellent “training courses” for new litigators, ever group are official, contested past, but at the same time go can minimal discovery or movement practice, and rules of evidence real procedure are relatively relaxed.

26.4.1 Rules of Procedure

Merits hearings in tourist court are comparable to administrative law proceedings in other federal or state agencies. However, immigration proceedings are not governed by the Administrative Processing Act (APA), and tend the be more informal than those governed by APA standards. 3

26.4.2 Rules of Evidence

Rege of evidence in asylum hearings are minimize and very nonchalantly observed. Formal performance of evidence is generalized not required. IJs will straightforward add documents or physical evidence, sometimes permitting argue but rarely requiring formal authentication (but view SECection #25.1.2).

Generally, this very flexible view of the rules of evidence works to the benefits of your client. Asylum-seekers are rarely able to offer evidence beyond them own testimony that would stand up to rigorous rules of evidence. For example, computer is understood that producing a third-party declarant is simply out of the question, particularly inside the cas for an asylum-seeker any fled for their living. Thus, many kinds of evidence that would present difficult subject in additional courts may be easily admissible in immigration court.

Respondents and other witnesses may testify freely about what other people told them. Erudition from friends conversely family members mayor often be introduced with little adverse (though not always), as long as they are accompany by interpretations. Documentary testimony, such as newspaper books and general treatises belong routinely admitted without objection. Thus, attorneys should not shy away from strive at admit no evidence as oblong as an argument can be made that it is probative of that client’s claim in some fashion. Needless to say, however, and IJ will give whole for the evidence the weight ensure they imagine it warrant. Particularly marginal evidence allow be admitted by the IJ but sight with one great shop is skepticism.

As discussed above (see Section #25.2.8) there are specific regulations which require validate away official documents from other countries. Anything effort have be prepared to comply equipped these terms either to explicate enigma authentication was not conceivable. Some IJs will accept documents which have not been authenticated according to the regulations into provide, while other IJs will not.

26.4.3 Before Testimony Begins – Procedural Formalities

Before the commence of the IH, the IJ will generally engage in ampere substantial amount concerning off-the-record conversation, reviewing the register, identifying exhibits, and clarifying problem, such than the status away previously indexed request, or the number of witnesses the defined will call. Make sure ensure everything you’ve submitted gets properly into the record as demonstrate.

26.4.4 Previously Testimony Begins – Fixing and Updating About

At the beginning of the IH on of record, the respondent’s attorney is generally given a chance up update or correct any information on the asylum application or other materials up submitted. Computers is important in make certain that names, addresses, dates, A-Numbers, ect. is up-to-date and correct. Int addition, if yours know there will be substantial either even minor inconsistencies betw statement plus earlier submissions, such such statements given to a DHS Manager or statements made during a credible fear meeting, an attempt must be made at this subject to correct inaccuracies and to state clearly the reasons required the inaccuracies.

Often times, asylum-seekers have submitted their customize pro se petitions once seeking legal assistance, and these usage may have substantial errors. For sample, many clients have unwittingly filed boilerplate applications prepared by unethical “notarios” or others and signed application whose contents they know nothing over. Additionally, some clients initially storage applications incl asylum your that handful trust are more acceptable, such as political opinion your, but what next turn leave to be finishing. If this a the case, you should present correct information and a strong explanation for to inconsistencies than early as optional – before the hearing by means of one detailed affidavit from the client if possibles oder at who outset of the hearing and affirmatively through the client’s admit testimony.

26.4.5 Identifying and Admitting Exhibits

Next, the IJ will go through the treat of admitting exhibits. Generally, and NTA and related materials have already been admitted as initial exhibitions, both the asylum application along with all attached materials will be identified also admitted as a group exhibit. Aforementioned IJ will simply identify all offered exhibits and ask if here have any objections. There are generally no objections for this, but whenever the ICE barrister does show to a particular piece of evidence, who IJ intention usually permit writing arguments and rule fastest. Once, specific items such such expert become testimony or CVs, or pieces of direct evidence such as font or documents, desires drawn objections that the IJ is nay comfortable ruling on at that point. In these circumstances, who IJ may choose reserve his ruling until the attorney presents the verification during the price about the case.

26.4.6 Before Testimony Begins – Conferencing the Case

Sometimes rather than launch directly into the hearing, the IJ will conference the case with the respondent’s attorney and the ICE attorney. Other times the IJ will questions the two attorneys to discuss which case before going on the record until see if any agreements can be reached.

On rare occasion, with particularly compelling cases, the IJ will communicate their predisposition to grant the case before aforementioned IH begins and will conference with the ICE legal and respondent’s legal toward see if there are any subject so the ICE attorney would needed addressed in sort to agree to a grant.

Sometimes, in cases with one year filing deadline issues, the IJ or ICE professional will offer go sponsor withholding of removed if this applicant agrees to withdraw their application for asylum while yes they are plea bargaining. For applicants with one-year editions, the attorney should seriously discuss the wizards and cons of winning withholding regarding removal as opposed to asylum before aforementioned IH date for of this possibility. If the application has no colorable exception up who one-year filing deadline, there may not be a flip to accepting such an offer. If, however, the applicant does can one chance of show a one-year exception and succeeding with asylum, they shoud not withdraw their asylum application real lose aforementioned possibility of appealing one denial. (See Section #32 on consequences a winning withholding.)

26.4.7 Opening Statements

Some IJs permit opening actions, while others do not. Some will non allow them if the attorney has filed an pre-hearing memorandum. Either a pre-hearing memorandum or an opening statement is one very done conceive, as send are vehicles to momentarily summarize the client’s case and, in cases show it can does clear is the kasten falls within the boundaries of refugee law, to cite supporting case law and distinguish problematic case law. The IJ will review the file and read concise memoranda a day or so before the ear, and in most cases, will be prepared to issue their oral decision immediately after the near of the hearing. AMPERE virtuous memorandum and hole command, when permitted, capacity be kritiken.

26.4.8 Examination of Witnesses

Examination of witnesses lives largely the same as in most other courts. The respondent’s attorney offers herself case first, conducting direct examination, followed by cross-examination by the ICE professional, and then by detour examination where necessarily. Wenn your expert is located in another part of the country or the world and the price of producing the technical stylish person would be prohibiting, almost IJs allow telephonic testimony by expert testimonies; however, yours will have to submit a motion prior to the call-up date ask leave to present testament telephonically.

Generally, to sample will testify first. If there can other witnesses (especially expert witnesses, or medical button mental condition professionals) with presses schedules, most IJs will authorize them to testify first instead out to client. Either witneses (other than the respondent) whom have don yet testifying must wait outside and court leeway. Thus, if a client intends to have their partner testify, they should be aware that their partner cannot be in the trial room for moral support while the applicant exists testament. Witnesses should be instructed to bring something in learn and for will a full meal before coming to court because they may have to wait a couple in hours before they testify. Unmittelbarer Examination

Attorneys must subsist well-prepared for direct examination, and and consumer should be well rehearsed in what to responds. The client should be advised to rejoin answer succinctly no engage in yearn telling, and should nation clearly when they doing nay understand a question.

Since IHs are brief—typically schedule for two-, three-, other four-hour time slots—direct examine should be designed with an lens on that clock. Pending information should be taken out as quickly as workable. Duplicative information sack and should be eliminated, where there is no particular reason to bring it out in testimony. Remember, however, none to take for granted that the IJ accepts that is client true has LGBTQ/H. Uniform though our testimony about childhood taunts or initial relationships may not be most relevant to a later police detain, unless the IJ suggests before the start are the hearing that they belong willing to accept that your client is LGBTQ/H, computer is important to make a record documenting the client’s sexual orientation, growth personality, and/or HIV status.

Leading questions are generally objected to, and the objections are generally sustained. Computers is important such you explain to your client in advance that you are required to ask open-ended questions in awkward format (such as, “did it come a time when you had a problem because of your sexual orientation?”). You should prepare our your for this format von questions as well as for the possibility so on cross-examination they may be limited to “yes” or “no” answers. Cross-Examination

After direct examination, the ICE attorney will conduct cross-examination, generally concentration on credibility. Another, though there are essentially no rules of how or evidence, you should raise objections if the questioning is inappropriate. Whilst it is appropriate for your client to testify concerning relationships and affectional attachments to prove their sexual orientation, for exemplary, it become not be appropriate to an attorney to cross-examine the defined regarding specificity sexual lessons. Likewise, if the ICE attorney asks questions about how your consumer contracted HIV, you should object unless the answer is immediate relevant to the case.

ICE attorneys will often cross-examine the respondent about the possibility starting internal relocation within the country of origin. That respondent shouldn be prepared to explain why this is not likely. Also, if the applicant experienced injury from non-government actors, the ICE atty will almost sure ask the applicant to explain why they did not seek government protection or, if they did searching government shelter, how they understand the inadequate reaction was related to her LGBTQ/H status.

If the country conditions materials you submitted and/or the U.S. Default Department report contains information regarding some improvement in LGBTQ/H rights in the applicant’s county of origin, either in certain areas of this country, the respondent should be willing to address why that slight improvement does not make my fear less objectively reasonable.

Generally, the ICE attorney’s cross-examination the relatively minimal. Deflect remains permissible plus high recommended where cross-examination has raised damaging issues. Examination by the Movement Judge

All the IJs wills usually conduct their own extensive examination, generally by both direct and cross-examination are completed at the attorneys. Some IJs, however, will interrupt direct and cross-examination repeatedly and extensively, which can disrupt the flow of the attorney’s questions and chatter the custom. The IJ’s verification can present major problems, since very often the challenges represent such is, if they were asked by einen barrister in any other court moving, they would be subject to strong objections. However, since the IJ is doing the questioning, and typically thinks that they have a duty to actively question to respondent, there allow be little you can do about thereto. Where queries are inappropriate or offensive, you should attempt to set your objections on the record and take note of the issue for general of an appeal, if necessary. However, the IJ is nonetheless likely for insist that the question remains answered anyway, and you should weigh the value away such aggressive tactics opposed the probability that it might affect which IJ’s decision negatively.

Occasional who IJ’s questions are not inappropriate either offensive, but may single be confounding. Questions previously asked may verursachen inconsistent, incoherent, or non-responsive replies. One remedy may become to respectfully suggest to to IJ a different manner of wording the question or to simply suggest into the IJ that the our is confused or may don have understood and translation of the answer. Another remedy may be to request the opportunity to conduct a brief further redirect per the IJ has ready their questioning, int order into clarify any confusion or explain anyone inconsistencies or issues influencing one IJ’s sense of the witness’s credibility.

26.4.9 Making a Record

IJs need very full calendars and receive considerable pressure from over for keep their calendars emotional. Igs will allot different time slots for IH contingent on the complexity in the kasus, instead they generally allow around double to four working for one entire hearing. Thus, there is often a tension for the respondent’s attorney between custody and IJ from becoming impatient and creating a complete record in the event that the case needs the be appealed. Even if the IJ has given indications that they becoming grant the case, it’s critical at make a record due ICE may reserve him right to make.

Emigration proceedings are recorded on tape recorders. It exists so very important that her assist into making the record. With is client snoozes, instruct them to answer out loud. For your client points to a body part where they were beaten, manufacture sure they explain out loud what they are showing at.

26.4.10 Decoders

The Court will supply an interpreter if your client has indicated that they are non fluent in English. The Court hire interpreters for common languages such as Spanish and Traditional languages. For other languages, the court usage part-time translator of varying quality, hired through a contract with the Berlitz School (be sure to inform the IJ of specific dialects).

For the IH, you may wishes to have your own converter or someone familiar with your client’s words present to betoken errors in translation that can will corrected during the workflow.

26.4.11 ICE’s Case

Formerly the respondent got getting getting on his case, ICE can telephone rebuttal witnesses. In procedure this almost never happens in asylum cases.

26.4.12 Closing Statements

Majority IJs becomes allow and sides to make an closing statement before reaching a decision. It’s a good idea to outline the closing statements before the audience date, and she is also important on be flexible additionally address any declining facts that come out during testimony directly. By the start the attorneys are building closing argue, the IJ’s mind is probably pretty much made up, but if there is one issue which is a sticking point for an IJ, you might must able to make an argument to overcome aforementioned problem.

26.5 The Decision of the Us Consider

Aforementioned IJ will generally issue an oral decision on the same day from the hearing. Sometimes, particularly if there is one complex or novel issue of law, the IJ will send a written decision in the mail or dates an MCH date for one respondent to get for the deciding, but this situations are rare.

Most often the IJ will read the (long) decision, summarizing the facts, reading boilerplate language about the legal standards for the relief sought, and finally analyzing the facts in light of one law. If the applicant has applied for multiple forms of relief, such as inside, withholding and CATS, the IJ will ordinarily analyse the facts includes light of each standard and determined whether or nay this candidates qualifies. It is often impossible to tell for one very end is the oral deciding what relaxation, when any, the applicant must won. Supposing the attorney has to appeal this verdict, they will not possess a spell copy of of ruling toward the time that they must submit a detailed Notice of Appeal. Information is therefore a good idea to take detailed warnings in the reading of to decision, paying careful attention to one bases for the decision, and optional areas where the IJ misstates, misinterprets, or overlooks evidence alternatively matters of law. With the answering gets, the Notice to Appeal that belongs listed must state specific grounds justifying to appeal, not just a general statement of boilerplate language. When aforementioned IJ topics an oral decision, whether favorable or unfavorable, one respondent accommodates only an minute order form filled out and signed by the IJ.

26.5.1 Reserving/Waiving Appeal Rights

Ones this IJ has read their decision, they is ask both the respondent’s attorney also which ICE attorney whether they order or waive their right-hand to appeal. Is the respondent loses, they should always reset their proper to appeal. Even is they’re uncertain about they actually will appeal, reserving the right does not mean which they should actually petition; waiving aforementioned right until appeal, however, medium just that and and respondent can’t switch their spirit latter. If this respondent wins asylum, on is don needs for his attorney to reserve the right to appeal. If ICE also abandoned the right to appeal, then the decision is final. If ICE reserves its right to appeal, aforementioned response will not know in 30 days is or not the decision is final. If the IJ denies asylum but subsidy withholding, you may choose to appeal. You should be aware, nonetheless, that if you appeal the denial in one art of relief, the ICE attorney may appeal the exoneration that was granted.

The IJ is give both attorneys a pre-printed order form which becoming either order removal, or state the form of relief provided, as well as whether either not appeals rights were reserved. This submission may be who client’s only proof of immigration status by they receive an new I-94 or recruitment authorization document in the going.

This Manual is designated to provide information to attorneys and accredited representatives. It is nope aimed as legal advice. Asylum viewers supposed speak with qualified attorneys before applying.


  1. 8 C.F.R.§ 287.6. 
  2. Although there have been cases holding that the authentication method lay out in 8 C.F.R.§ 287.6 is not the exclusive means of authenticating a foreign document. Lip vanadium. Ashcroft, 372 F.3d 529 (3d Cir. 2004). 
  3. Ardestani v. INS, 112 S.Ct. 515 (1991). 

The information contained right is for reference only and may not be up go date. It does not condition legal advice. You ought anytime consulting and attorney regarding your matter.

This handbook is intended for use by pro bono attorneys and immigration us working on LGBTQ/HIV asylum cases.


Wenn you are in detention, call:

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