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EOIR, Sept. 28, 2021
"The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced its “Access EOIR” initiative. Through this multi-faceted effort, EOIR aims to increase access to information and raise the level of representation for individuals appearing before the immigration courts. Following the Agency’s recent launch of the FOIA Public Access Link to simplify access to records, more than 100 meetings with stakeholders throughout the past eight months, and ongoing deployment of the EOIR Courts & Appeals System, the latest efforts include the new Counsel for Children Initiative (CCI) and the refresh of the Model Hearing Program (MHP).
“I am pleased to announce our launch of the ‘Access EOIR’ initiative,” said EOIR Director David Neal. “By providing noncitizens and their representatives with more resources, we can better ensure that respondents understand immigration court proceedings, that legal representation before EOIR will increase, and that the public will grow more confident in the due process our Immigration Judges provide.”
The CCI works to provide legal representation to certain unaccompanied children who are in immigration proceedings in the eight immigration courts in which Government-funded counsel for children will have the greatest impact: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Through this initiative, EOIR will also help to identify children who have been victims of human trafficking or abuse and refer them to appropriate support services.
EOIR is also launching updated trainings under MHP today. The MHP is an educational program for those who practice, or would like to explore practice, in EOIR’s immigration courts. With the goal of increasing advocacy in immigration court—in quantity and quality—EOIR is providing training and resources for multiple learning types through these efforts. Today, EOIR will hold the first of 11 scheduled MHP events, which will be followed by regularly scheduled MHP events. Each event includes presentations by Immigration Judges, staff attorneys, and court administrators via webinar. MHP events include a model master calendar hearing and a model individual hearing, preceded by a substantive law training to assist participants in understanding the law underlying the event’s case fact pattern.
For those unable to attend an MHP event, and those seeking to revisit the content from live trainings, the MHP is developing recorded materials for on-demand viewing, and has published a dynamic list of resources, available through the Immigration Court Online Resource (ICOR). ICOR also provides information about potential forms of relief through an interactive tool. The MHP is available to provide resources or set up an MHP event upon request from individuals and groups interested in learning more about the mechanics of immigration court proceedings.
“Access EOIR” provides respondents, representatives, and the general public with more direct access to agency and case information and the systems that contain it, further supporting transparency and due process for all those with business before the Agency. EOIR welcomes feedback from the public about ways to expand “Access EOIR.”