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03.15.20

NAIJ Joins with DHS Lawyers Union and Immigration Lawyers to Call for Emergency Closure of Immigration Courts

In line with urgent guidance from public health agencies and for the sake of public health in the midst of a pandemic, the National Association of Immigration Judges/IFPTE Judicial Council 2 (NAIJ) joined in a united front with the AFGE Local 511, which represents ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), in calling for all 68 Immigration Court locations to close on an emergency basis. Read the statement from NAIJ, AFGE Local 511, and AILA here [PDF].

Earlier last week, NAIJ had urged the Department of Justice's Executive Office of Immigration Review to suspend initial hearings (EOIR) [PDF] in Immigration Court for respondents with non-detained cases.

Also last week, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey expressed grave concern and requested answers [PDF] for the decision by the EOIR to remove CDC-produced public health information regarding COVID-19 prevention and symptoms that NAIJ members had posted in public areas of courtrooms. EOIR reversed their decision after new media and the NAIJ twitter account reported EOIR’s removal of the posters. The letter requests EOIR explain their actions and whether EOIR will allow Immigration Judges to reschedule hearings as necessary.

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