Due to the Covid-19 pandemic EOIR (the Immigration Courts around the country) has made multiple announcements on their Operational Status webpage. Now, the most recent one is regarding canceling certain hearings dates.
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Today, January 28, 2022, EOIR made the following annoucement on their Operational Status page. They are effectively canceling most cases through February 7th, 2022.
What type of cases does the announcement relate to?
- Detained respondents
- Represented non-detained respondents
- Enrollees in DHS’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) who are not in the United States
- Unrepresented, non-detained respondents who request to proceed by phone or online
How do I know if my case proceeds or not?
If you fall within one of the above categories and your hearing date was between January 28th and February 7th, then your case will not proceed on that date. To confirm, you can call the Immigration court which sent your hearing notice. In addition, you can also check with the automated case number to check when your new court date is. The EOIR automated phone number is 800-898-7180. All you need to enter is your A number to verify your court date.
Why is it important to not miss my court hearing?
If you have a master or individual hearing date, you must appear. If the court starts the session and you are not present, the judge has the authority to enter an in abstentia removal order. You do not want to have a removal order because reopening the case is not easy. Making a motion to reopen involves extra legal fees and having your case with the court pending longer. The immigration courts are extremely back-logged. It was recently announced that there are as much as 1.6 million cases pending. This sheer amount of volume puts an immense burden on the Courts and their staff. And thus, making routine motions, such as motions to reopen now takes a lot more time.