The measure prevented a fair defense of immigrants, in addition to applying for some protection.
WASHINGTON – The Judge Richard Leon, of the District Court of Washington, DC, suspended a rule that prevented immigrants from having access to a fair trial, which would speed up their deportation.
The provision was imposed in the last weeks of the president’s government Donald Trump and was issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), Department of Justice area (DOJ) that administers the immigration courts.
The rule published on December 16, 2020 It reduced the ability of judges to discretion in cases, and their sentences could easily be reversed by the BIA, activists who filed the lawsuit accused.
“The general rule of the Trump Administration illegally denies immigrants a fair hearing in court and impedes the ability of immigrant advocates to represent and defend them.”, the advocacy groups stated in a joint message.
Among other things, the measure modified the procedures, in order to deprive immigrants of access to a hearing, limit their right to present evidence and select a lawyer.
The plaintiffs’ coalition was comprised of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Brooklyn Defense Services (BDS), the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP), HIAS (founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society ) and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), who were represented by NIJC and Democracy Forward.
Judge Leon orders that the previous rule be maintained, recognizing that the plaintiffs will demonstrate the damages to a fair process.
“They have shown probably irreparable damage without a suspension”said the judge, while considering that returning to the previous guidelines “will better balance the actions at stake and serve the public interest.”
Judge Leon even opined that 30 days to submit comments on such a complex rule is insufficient.
This is how it affects immigrants
The rule impacts immigrants with open processes in the following way:
- Reduce time to present evidence
- It complicates immigrants to find a attorney
- Prohibits the BIA from considering evidence for protection, such as asylum
- Reverses the procedures to determine the voluntary departure
- It allows the BIA to make decisions without the possibility of the parties challenged those facts
- Eliminates the authority of immigration judges and the BIA to administratively close or reopen procedures