FOIA Request Seeks All Immigration Judge Standing Orders

FOIA Request Seeks All Immigration Judge Standing Orders

Friday, March 29, 2019

The American Immigration Council filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) seeking all immigration judge written standing orders presently in force at immigration courts nationwide governing requests by counsel. The Council also requested all policies governing the creation of standing orders as well as any policies governing how standing orders are communicated to the public. 

Immigration judge standing orders are written instructions outlining an immigration judge’s criteria, preference and/or policy governing procedural and substantive components of a bond or removal proceeding. Individuals facing removal from the United States have due process rights, which include, among others, the right to be represented by counsel. Immigration judge standing orders can often implicate these due process rights. For example, a standing order may govern whether counsel can appear telephonically at a bond or removal proceeding. Although immigration judge standing orders impact due process rights, these orders are not published on EOIR’s website. Because these orders address procedural and substantive due process rights, individuals seeking bond and/or facing removal, attorneys and the general public have a right to access and review these orders. Further, the public has a right to understand the process by which these orders are prepared and issued, including how they are communicated to the public.

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