Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beware the mystery of when Newark Immigration Court accepts filings

As of February 1, 2013, the Newark Immigration Court's hours for filing papers has been reduced to 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday.

You may look at this with some suspicion because if you look on the Internet at the Newark Immigration Court's official web pages, you might see it say that they accept filings for longer hours.  Do not rely on the court's official web pages!  Ask someone at the court if you are not sure.

You may also look at this with suspicion because an official sign at the court filing window says they accept filings for longer hours than 8am to 4pm.  Do not rely on the official sign at the court window.  It is incorrect.

Unfortunately, they do not invite the public to scribble notes on their official signs so it would not be appropriate for you to scratch a note on their misleading official sign.

There should be ways to get a break from the court if you missed a deadline because you were misled by the official signs.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Non-LPR cancellation of removal impossible for non-detained until October 2013

Congress has capped the number of people in removal proceedings who can receive cancellation of removal for those who are not legal permanent residents (those who are non-LPR), which is something referred to by the nickname of E-42B relief based on the form number for seeking it.

Around December 5, 2012, immigration judges could no longer grant non-LPR cancellation of removal in non-detained cases because the amount set aside for those awards for October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 (the 2012-2013 fiscal year) has reached its limit.

For immigrants who could receive protection, courts will likely reschedule their hearings and postpone them until at least October 2013, which causes extra delay and uncertainty for the immigrants.  It could also hurt them because the strength of their case could change between now and when their rescheduled hearing happens.  For example, they might be able today to show exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a child but their son or daughter might be older and no longer a child by the time the rescheduled hearing happens.

For courts, it means a larger backlog of cases that are unresolved.  Congress has the power to increase the number who can receive relief per fiscal year.  Expect a huge rush of hearings in October 2013 as immigrants will not be sure how long it will take to use up all the space for the fiscal year that runs from October 2013 to September 2014.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Newark and Elizabeth Immigration Courts Open November 1, 2012

Despite the recent storm, the Newark Immigration Court (970 Broad Street, Newark) and Elizabeth Immigration Court (625 Evans Street, Elizabeth) plan to be open on Thursday, November 1, 2012.  The latest is that USCIS in Newark and USCIS in Mt. Laurel also plan to be open.

USCIS will not be able to open its fingerprint sites, which are also known as application support centers in Elizabeth and Hackensack, NJ.  Those won't be open on Thursday, November 1, 2012.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Newark Immigration Court and Elizabeth Immigration Court Closed Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Due To Weather

Due to weather conditions (the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy), Newark Immigration Court (at 970 Broad Street, Newark, NJ) and Elizabeth Immigration Court (at 625 Evans Street, Elizabeth, NJ) will be closed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012.  We have also heard that as of now, USCIS at 970 Broad Street and locations other than Mt. Laurel will be closed on October 31, but that the USCIS office in Mount Laurel might try to open if it can offer limited service.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Newark and Elizabeth Immigration Courts Closed October 30, 2012

Due to weather conditions, Newark Immigration Court (at 970 Broad Street, Newark, NJ) and Elizabeth Immigration Court (at 625 Evans Street, Elizabeth, NJ) will be closed on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 along with Immigration Courts in NYC.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Newark and Elizabeth Immigration Courts and USCIS-NJ Closed October 29, 2012

Due to weather conditions, Newark Immigration Court (at 970 Broad Street, Newark, NJ) and Elizabeth Immigration Court (at 625 Evans Street, Elizabeth, NJ) will be closed on Monday, October 29, 2012.

USCIS is also going to be closed in its Newark office (970 Broad Street, Newark, NJ) and its Mount Laurel, NJ office.  It will also close its biometrics appointment centers on October 29, 2012.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Newark Immigration Court and USCIS: Improved Wait To Get In the Building

As an update -- good news about the time visitors must spend standing outdoors to get into 970 Broad Street in Newark, NJ (for Newark Immigration Court or Newark USCIS).  It looks like the building staff have come up with a way to open up an extra entrance for visitors to get through security.  This means that the sudden closure of one entrance due to construction probably will not have much impact on the length of time it takes to get into the building.  Thank you, building staff, for working on the problem of long wait times when one of the entrances suddenly closed for construction!

In the past, lines sometimes got long when it was extremely cold or snowy, so you should still bundle up when you visit the building.  But it might not be as bad as it initially appeared.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Newark Immigration Court: Health Advisory Due To Long Waits

Please protect your health about a danger that you face if you visit Newark Immigration Court or US Citizenship and Immigration Services at 970 Broad Street in Newark, NJ.

Starting October 2012, one of the main entrances for non-employees is closed, apparently due to construction.  It is possible that the entrance could be closed for months, including during the winter months when the weather often is extreme.

The waits to enter the building can be extremely long and at this point, waiting often requires standing unprotected (without any rain protection or wind/cold protection).

Please protect your health by wearing extra layers, bring blankets to huddle under, and possibly even bringing chairs to sit on during any long wait you encounter.  Please take care of your health!

There is no indication so far of USCIS or the Immigration Courts making any accommodation or adjusting schedules to address the health risk.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Suppression Motions in Immigration Court: Third Circuit case law

On September 13, 2012, the Third Circuit issued a precedential decision granting the appeal by the NYU Law School immigration clinic in Oliva-Ramos v. Holder, No. 10-3849 (3d Cir. Sept. 13, 2012).  The Third Circuit rejected the rulings by the IJ and BIA along with the arguments by OIL lawyers regarding the viability of suppression motions in immigration court.

As set forth by eight out of nine justices in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), evidence should be suppressed if there is an egregious violation of the Fourth Amendment, if the evidence is unreliable, or if illegal searches were part of widespread violations.

The Third Circuit ruled that an illegal act is an egregious Fourth Amendment violation if either (a) it was a constitutional violation that was fundamentally unfair or (b) the violation (whether unfair or not) undermined the reliability of the evidence in dispute.  In addition, evidence should be suppressed upon showing that the illegal searches were widespread in nature.

For those litigating cases about raids in NJ, it is very interesting that the Third Circuit noted that it already received evidence and allegations of widespread illegal immigration raids in the case of Argueta v. ICE, 643 F.3d 60 (3d Cir. 2011).  There is also evidence suggesting widespread home raids based on memos for ICE Fugitive Operations Teams, ICE arrest statistics, and a Cardozo Law School clinic's report titled Constitution on ICE (2009).  Lawyers and scholars have been compiling notes on ways to prove that illegal ICE raids are widespread in nature.

The decision also includes important points about seeking to terminate proceedings based on regulatory violations.  That's an additional argument to pursue separate from seeking to suppress illegally obtained evidence.

Congratulations to NYU Law School's clinic!  Also great work by DLA Piper, who filed an amicus brief on behalf of the ACLU, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, AALDEF, Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic, and Catholic Charities of Newark!

Private Attorney Laptops (continued)

The ICE Public Advocate has announced that the new ICE policy to allow laptops (and air cards) into immigration courts within detention centers is being expanded.  It will now include smartphones, tablets, or similar devices (not just laptops).  The rest of the policy is unchanged -- that lawyers must obtain permission, additional rules appear in the forms that are not yet available, and that lawyers must ask for permission every single time they want to bring the equipment into court.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Private Attorney Laptops And The Elizabeth Immigration Court

For a few years, ICE counsel in the immigration court at the Elizabeth Detention Center have enjoyed and exploited the unfair advantage of using laptops in court even though lawyers representing immigrants have not been allowed to use their laptops.

On September 12, 2012, the ICE Public Advocate announced that ICE will allow private attorneys or accredited representatives appearing before an immigration judge on behalf of detainees to bring a laptop into the immigration courtroom that is located in a detention center.  This should mean that ICE will set up a method to allow immigration lawyers to bring in laptops (with air cards) to the immigration court in the Elizabeth Detention Center.

The announcement says the method to obtain approval will not cover any iPads, iPods, smartphones, Blackberries, or other electronic devices.  They also say additional rules appear in the request form that will ultimately be available from the field office covering the location of the courtroom.

There is no indication about how the immigration court system will make up for the years of unfairness when ICE lawyers brought in their laptops but immigration lawyers were not allowed to bring in similar equipment.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Newark Immigration Court Closed March 22-26, 2012 and Moving

The Newark Immigration Court will be closed March 22-26, 2012 in order to move. It will open at its new location (same building, different floor) on March 27, 2012.

The new location will be 970 Broad Street, Room 1200, Newark, NJ 07102.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Elizabeth Immigration Court Closed August 29, 2011

As is now posted on the official EOIR web site, the immigration court in Elizabeth, NJ is closed today, Monday, August 29, 2011. This is related to Hurricane Irene, which hit over the weekend. The court is closed in the sense of not holding hearings. It seems that the court is also closed in the sense of not having any window open to accept any court filings. Call ahead for details or to ask for more information!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Judge Eugene Pugliese Retires From Newark Immigration Court

Immigration Judge Eugene Pugliese retired from Newark Immigration Court. His last day on the bench was June 30, 2011. There is no clear guidance yet how the court will handle all of the cases that were under his control when he retired. Cases from July 5, 2011 to July 8, 2011 are being postponed, but it is not yet clear when they will be heard next and by which immigration judge.

Time will tell whether people in Newark Immigration Court will have to suffer even longer waits and delays to receive a decision in their cases.

Friday, April 08, 2011

USCIS information event in Vineland, NJ 4/19/11

The USCIS Newark District will be conducting a Naturalization Information Session on Tuesday, April 19th, at 1:00pm, at the Vineland Public Library in Vineland, NJ. According to USCIS, it will last around two hours and will discuss the naturalization eligibility requirements, the redesigned test, and various study aids. They intend to reach lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who are interested in becoming United States citizens and people interested in the process.

Naturalization Information Session

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011


Vineland Public Library

1058 E. Landis Avenue

Vineland, NJ 08360