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A "Home Run" - AILA NJ v. EOIR (WebEx Hearings)

March 03, 2023 (1 min read)


"Plaintiffs commenced this action on July 31, 2020, alleging violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, seeking an order enjoining Defendants from compelling attorneys to appear at the Newark Immigration Court for in-person proceedings, and seeking an order compelling Defendants to provide attorneys with an option for hearings at the Newark Immigration Court by remote videoconference ... ORDERED that absent emergent circumstances, Webex motions must be filed electronically or postmarked at least fifteen (15) days prior to scheduled hearings. Emergent circumstances include, but are not limited to, contracting COVID-19 or coming into immediate exposure with a person who has contracted COVID-19 within the fifteen (15) day period; and it is further ORDERED that Newark Immigration Judges must issue a decision in deciding a Webex motion and clearly state the case-specific reasons upon which the decision is based, and such decisions must be signed and dated; and it is further ORDERED that if a Newark Immigration Judge does not issue a decision regarding a Webex motion 48 hours prior to the relevant hearing, the motion will be deemed granted by the Newark Immigration Judge, and the hearing will be conducted by WebEx. The 48-hour requirement applies only to motions made at least fifteen (15) days prior to the scheduled hearings and does not apply to emergent motions..."

"Akiva Shapiro, an attorney for the AILA, said in an email to Law360 on Thursday that the order "is a home run for us." "We are thrilled that New Jersey immigration attorneys and their vulnerable clients are once again assured access to remote immigration hearings, and that the immigration court will no longer be able to force them to choose between risking their lives and staving off deportation and other severe consequences," Shapiro said. He noted that attorneys with the DHS had taken a different stance than the EOIR. "Even the government's own immigration enforcement lawyers supported us and testified that the Newark immigration court was risking their health in failing to provide meaningful access to remote hearings. That's how bad the situation was at the Newark court," Shapiro said." - Read more at: