Comment on Executive Office for Immigration Review Proposed Rule Regarding Restoring Appeal Procedures and Administrative Closure


November 7, 2023


November 7, 2023

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted this comment in support of the proposed rule, "Appellate Procedures and Decisional Finality in Immigration Proceedings; Administrative Closure."

The proposed rule would restore the Executive Office for Immigration Review's (EOIR) ability to review a fully developed record and make reasoned decisions based on that record while returning the ability to respondents to make an effective appeal. The proposed changes return procedural protections that were eliminated by a December 2020 rule that was published in the last days of the Trump administration. Importantly, it restores EOIR adjudicators’ administrative closure authority, allows respondents time to brief issues raised by opposing counsel, removes the adjudicatory authority previously granted to the politically-appointed EOIR Director, and restores adjudicators' ability to reopen cases in the interest of justice.

The proposed rule’s maintenance of impartiality is key to ensuring both sides have a fair chance to be heard.

EOIR's notice for comment also requested input on additional changes to processing immigration court decisions, including:

  • Establishing mandatory and discretionary factors when EOIR adjudicators consider whether to terminate a case.
  • Whether Matter of Thomas & Thompson, 27 I&N Dec. 674 (A.G. 2019) should be given retroactive effect.

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