INFORMATION FOR IMMIGRATION COUNSEL FOR IRAQI NATIONALS WITH FINAL ORDERS OF REMOVAL

Table of Contents

OVERVIEW

                   FOLDER WITH ALL RESOURCES IN IT.

  1. General Information for Attorneys
  2. Expert Declarations and Other Evidence re. Iraq
  3. Motions to Reopen
  1. MTRs Based on Changed Country Conditions 
  2. MTRs for Cases with In Absentia Removal Orders
  1. Stays of Removal
  2. Bases for Immigration Relief
  1. Convention Against Torture (CAT)
  2. Relief in Cases Involving Criminal Convictions
  1. Brief Bank
  2. Opinion Bank
  3. Miscellaneous
  1. Delayed Appeals
  2. Departure Bar and Related Topics
  3. Bond Hearings
  4. Restoration of Lawful Permanent Resident Status
  5. Resources for those deported to Iraq 
  6. Habeas petitions for individuals (NOTE: filing a habeas petition excludes individuals from the Hamama class)

This folder holds all the materials referenced below.

  1. General Information for Attorneys

This folder contains background information on representing individuals in Immigration Court and before the Board of Immigration Appeals, as well as resources specific to representation of Iraqi national and to individuals with mental illness.

Key resources in folder include:

  1. Expert Declarations and Other Evidence re. Iraq

Key resources in this folder include:

  1. Motions to Reopen

Most Motions to Reopen (MTRs) must be filed within 90 days of the original decision. However, under certain circumstances--in particular, changed country conditions--IJs and the BIA can reopen proceedings beyond this deadline to allow a respondent to apply for relief. Click here to learn more about an MTR as an option for your case. When filing an MTR, it is recommended to simultaneously seek a stay of removal to prevent an individual from being removed while the motion is under consideration.

This folder contains sources of law, practice advisories, trainings and samples for MTRs generally. Specific information on MTRs based on changed country conditions and in absentia removal orders can be found in the following sections.

  1. Motions to Reopen Based on Changed Country Conditions

8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7)(C)(ii) permits individuals to reopen their cases to apply for fear-based protection based on changed country conditions, including withholding or deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture.

This folder contains court decisions related to MTRs based on changed country conditions, amicus briefs, and evidence to support arguments related to changed country conditions.

Key resources in this folder include:

  1. Cases with In Absentia Removal Orders

A Motion to Rescind and Reopen (MTRR) in which a respondent demonstrates that he or she did not receive notice of the hearing can be filed at any point after the IJ issues a final order of removal. This means that there is no time limit for an MTRR of an in absentia order alleging insufficient notice. An MTRR of an in absentia order in which a respondent claims exceptional circumstances generally must be filed within 180 days after a final order of removal. Individuals whose proceedings commenced prior to April 1, 1997 fall under the pre-IIRAIRA law—a more generous standard-- and are in deportation or exclusion proceedings. Individuals whose proceedings commenced on or after April 1, 1997 are governed by the post-IIRAIRA statute and are in removal proceedings.

This folder contains sources of law, practice advisories, and samples.

Key resources in this folder include:

  1. Stays of Removal

A Motion for Stay of Removal should be filed simultaneously with a motion to reopen. If you have a client with a final order who is before an IJ or has a pending PFR, file a motion for a stay immediately after rehearing is denied. If you have a client with a final order who is in the BIA, according to the BIA fact sheet on emergency stays, consideration of a request generally requires that removal be imminent, with your client in custody.  You should be prepared to file rapidly if your client is taken into custody or a removal date is set. If you want to know whether the circumstances in your client’s case require a stay, contact hamama [at] aclumich.org.

Cached PDF and Live Link

This folder contains practice advisories and other guidance, samples and templates.

Key resources in this folder include:

  1. Bases for Immigration Relief

  1. Convention against Torture

Individuals who fear return to their home country may consider Convention Against Torture (CAT) protection as a source of possible relief. 8 U.S.C. 1231 Note; Pub. L. 105–277, div. G, subdiv. B, title XXII, § 2242 provides It shall be the policy of the United States not to expel, extradite, or otherwise effect the involuntary return of any person to a country in which there are substantial grounds for believing the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture, regardless of whether the person is physically present in the United States.”

This folder contains sources of law, practice advisories, samples and templates for CAT claims.

Key resources in this folder include:

  1. Relief in Cases Involving Criminal Convictions

This folder contains practice advisories and reference materials related to cases with criminal convictions.

Key resources in this folder include:

  1. Brief Bank

This folder contains a growing collection of briefs filed on behalf of Hamama class members and other brief samples filed with immigration courts, the BIA, and courts of appeals. Topics include motions to reopen, motions for stays, and petitions for review.

  1. Opinion Bank

This folder contains a growing collection of opinions issued in the cases of Hamama class members and other Iraqi nationals.

  1. Miscellaneous

  1. Delayed Appeals

Apart from motions to reopen, another strategy is to file an appeal that would ordinarily be considered (very) late, and argue that the time to appeal was equitably tolled.

Resources in this folder include an amicus brief interpreting the regulation on the 30 day appeal, a sample BIA notice to appeal the 30-day deadline, and a practice advisory on return to US after prevailing on a motion.

  1. Departure Bar and Related Topics

An individual who has been removed from the United States may wish to continue litigating his or her case.

This folder contains information related on the “departure bar” and its impact on motions in an individual’s case, as well as practice advisories related to assisting individuals who have been removed and facilitating their return to the United States where a petition for review or motion to reopen is granted.

  1. Bond Hearings

This folder contains information related to bond proceedings, including practice advisories, trainings, templates and samples. For individuals considering a bond company as a means of posting bond, a consumer guide is available here.

  1. Restoration of Lawful Permanent Resident Status

Individuals with lawful permanent resident (LPR) status prior to their removal orders have their status restored when their motions to reopen are granted. You can find information here about obtaining proof of LPR status after case is reopened with removal order vacated.

  1. Resources for Those Deported to Iraq

This folder includes resources of Individuals who get deported, about how to obtain Iraqi ID, and other assistance. ID is necessary to avoid a detention at checkpoints.

  1. Habeas Petitions for Individuals

This folder includes samples and resources.  NOTE: Filing a habeas petition excludes individuals from the Hamama class, including eligibility for release after 6 months of detention.  Talk to Hamama class counsel if you are considering this.