I wasn't on the EOIR's case flow processing call yesterday. The new memo says the process only applies to new cases (post 4/2/21). It says orders under the old memo will remain in effect. But they canceled the old memo. And it also says pending cases might be added.
So, if I'm an IJ, what is my guidance on how to proceed with cases that had been docketed before 4/2/21? Not the old memo, it's been rescinded. What is the "individualized determination" that they are amenable to "this process" in the footnote? justice.gov/eoir/book/file…
Summary - the Trump admin blew up the way for holding court hearings (despite a super clear regulation saying that's illegal). Biden cancelled that but the replacement plan doesn't explained what's supposed to happen to pre-4/2/21 cases.
Also, the new memo says some cases "will be set for a short matter hearing" but I have no idea what a "short matter hearing" is. As the kids say, that's not a thing.

It also says some cases will be "placed on a specialized docket" but doesn't say which ones or what that means.

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More from @MatthewHoppock

23 Mar
It appears Vance H. Spath has been removed from the list of Assistant Chief Immigration Judges. The page says it was updated on the 17th, but there's been no announcement. justice.gov/eoir/office-of…
Spath was a Guantanamo judge presiding over cases where the DOJ was a party while he was asking them to hire him as an IJ. The DC Circuit in April 2019 said he had created “an intolerable cloud of partiality.” abajournal.com/web/article/dc…
Nevertheless, in April, 2020 Trump's DOJ promoted him from being an IJ in Arlington to being an ACIJ based in Miami. It's unclear if he still works for EOIR. The policy manual still lists him as an ACIJ. But it hasn't been updated in over a month. justice.gov/eoir/eoir-poli…
Read 4 tweets
1 Mar
EOIR's new ECAS terms of service: users have to promise to use e-filing on every case where it's available, no exceptions. But EOIR reserves the right to "remove a particular case from electronic filing" without explanation. Sounds fair. justice.gov/eoir/page/file…
Also, you can be banned from using e-filing for "filing case-related documents and repeatedly inputting and uploading incorrect or inaccurate information into the system." I would think "filing case-related documents" would be the entire point of e-filing.
Also, e-filing a document (which gives DHS access to that document) isn't considered service on DHS. We still have to print a copy and serve them by mail (or use DHS's "e-service" platform that is regularly offline and works poorly.
Read 5 tweets
22 Feb
Detained immigration attorneys - EOIR has a new page up describing "clerical transfers" where the court says it can now change venue from one court to another "with only an administrative notation" - no need for a change of venue motion or order by the IJ. justice.gov/eoir/paired-co…
There are serious due process problems here if, for example, a court clerk in El Paso can just change venue to Atlanta with an "administrative notation" without notice to either party.
They also updated the Uniform Docketing Manual System Manual on Friday with a new section about "clerical transfer." It gives release from a detention setting as one example where this will be used but no more detail about when else it will be used. justice.gov/eoir/eoir-poli…
Read 5 tweets
8 Feb
As EOIR continues to slowly roll out its ECAS e-filing system I'm looking at the agency's budget reporting for the system, and things are not good. In FY 20 they planned to train 620 employees to use it but only trained 341.
itdashboard.gov/drupal/summary…
They had planned to have 200,000 cases in electronic format for FY 2020. They achieved less than half of that.
In 2020 the DOJ's Chief Information Officer described the $23.5M investment in ECAS as Yellow "due to missed performance metrics"
Read 7 tweets
22 Jan
New BIA decision on divisibility of drug statutes, but this footnote is doing some heavy lifting. The DHS accused someone of being a citizen of the Soviet Union. The BIA had to clarify that the Soviet Union doesn't exist...justice.gov/eoir/page/file…
The judge terminated the case. BIA granted the DHS's appeal and reversed the termination. Meaning the BIA kept the case alive, even though the DHS has only alleged the person is a citizen of a country that doesn't exist. Yes, I'll get to the merits, but jeez this is silly.
So, the merits. The person was convicted of violating a broad controlled substance statute that included substances which aren't banned federally. To convict him, the state didn't have to prove which substance was at issue. So, is it a "controlled substance" crime?
Read 4 tweets
22 Jan
There's more in the OIG report about IJ hiring than just the sexual harassment stuff. In this example, a senior EOIR employee involved in IJ hiring personally intervened for one candidate and replaced one of the judges on her hiring panel "to improve her chances of being hired."
It was his day off, but he came into the office anyway to intervene in this particular candidate's hiring. He invited her to his office to admire the view, escorted her to the interview room, and then invited her to his apartment afterward to change clothes.
It's alarming how much of this report is redacted - and there are more records they haven't turned over. The OIG said these actions communicated to the hiring panel that she was his close friend and that he "was providing her preferential treatment based on his relationship"
Read 9 tweets

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