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Understanding your rights regarding the removal process -- IV

In today's post, we'll conclude our ongoing discussion of what foreign nationals can anticipate from the removal process, which has heretofore covered everything from the service of the "Notice to Appear" by the Department of Homeland Security to the specifics of the individual hearing in which their fate will be determined.

In our final post on this topic, we'll explore the three post-decision options available to foreign nationals in the event the immigration judge rules against them.

Motion to reopen

If you discover new facts that are relevant to the case, but which were not previously available, it's possible to file what is known as a motion to reopen. While there are exceptions, these motions must typically be filed within 90 days of the immigration judge's decision.

Motion to reconsider

If you believe that the immigration judge has not interpreted the applicable law correctly, it's possible to file what is known as a motion to reconsider. While there are exceptions, these motions must typically be filed within 30 days of the immigration judge's decision.

Direct appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals

As we touched on at the outset of this discussion, the immigration courts overseeing the removal process are part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a branch of the Justice Department. One of the subsets of the EOIR is the Board of Immigration Appeals, which is tasked with reviewing the decisions of the immigration courts.

It's possible for you to bypass either of the aforementioned options and file an appeal directly with the BIA, which endeavors to reach decisions in no more than 180 days. However, any direct appeal to the BIA must take place within 30 days of the immigration judge's decision.   

It's important to note that these same post-decision options are also available to the federal government.

This concludes our discussion of what foreign nationals can expect from the removal process. Those with questions or concerns about any aspect of it should give very serious consideration to speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.

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