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Pro Bono Library Items Archive

Pro Bono Library Tag: Immigration Court
  • COVID-19 Updates as of October 15, 2020

    Tahirih Justice Center

    • Register now for Tahirih’s October 21 2020 webinar covering COVID-19 updates, legal updates and strategies to corroborate your client’s claim.
    • Tahirih’s physical offices are closed until and all staff are working remotely until further notice. Staff continue to respond to pro bono attorneys and clients, though their response time to pro bono attorneys may be atypical.
    • Resources developed by Tahirih, including webinar resources and a Guide to Adapting Trauma-Informed Lawyering Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic, use the COVID-19 tag on Tahirih’s Pro Bono e-library. 


    • EOIR updates are available online at https://www.justice.gov/eoir/eoir-operational-status-during-coronavirus-pandemic. Be sure to verify operating status on the EOIR website. Operating status changes are posted often, and Tahirih’s list may not immediately reflect the current status of every court.
    • Register to receive e-mail updates at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOJ/subscriber/new?preferences=true.
    • All non-detained immigration court hearings, including master calendar hearings and merits hearings, nationwide will be postponed through October 30, 2020 if they don’t have an announced re-open date. New hearing notices will be issued. Detained docket hearings will proceed. Most courts remain open for filing in person or by mail.
    • The Arlington. Baltimore, San Francisco, and Atlanta Immigration Courts have resumed hearings in non-detained cases.
    • EOIR is currently accepting digital and electronic signatures on all filings.
    • The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has established temporary email accounts for immigration courts nationwide to facilitate electronic filing for all parties while the rollout of the EOIR Court & Appeals System (ECAS) is delayed due to COVID-19. Those who have already opted-in to ECAS should continue to use ECAS where it is available. Others who wish to utilize electronic filing may file through email as instructed below. Temporary filing e-mail addresses will be discontinued 60 days after the re-opening of a court for non-detained hearings.
      • Please visit http://www.justice.gov/eoir/filing-email for requirements that apply to filing by email and the email address for each immigration court.
      • Please note EOIR cannot provide technical support or confirm receipt of filings at this time.
      • If you have questions, please contact the EOIR Office of Policy, Communications and Legislative Affairs Division at [email protected].
    • Deadlines for open courts remain. Tahirih recommends strongly that you comply with your original pre-hearing filing deadlines unless directed by order or specific guidance from your immigration judge.


    • USCIS has resumed in-person appointments at field offices, ASC offices, and asylum offices. USCIS continues to exercise flexibility in rescheduling appointments if an applicant is sick.
    • USCIS will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond, until further notice. Tahirih recommends original wet signature or a scanned copy of documents signed with a wet signature. If that is not possible, please consult with your Tahirih mentor attorney or Kursten Phelps, Director of Legal and Social Services.
    • If you received or receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), or wish to file an I-290B for a denial dated between March 1 and January 1, 2021, any responses or I-290s submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the notice or decision will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken.
    • To monitor USCIS updates, see: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19


    • ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations updates are available online at: https://www.ice.gov/covid19.  As of March 18, ICE ERO will focus enforcement on public-safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds. For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or user alternatives to detention, as appropriate.
    • In-person check ins vary by jurisdiction. Please contact your local ERO office.

    State Department

    • The Department of State has resumed visa services and processing on a post-by-post basis.
    • Applicants with an urgent matter and need to travel immediately should follow the guidance provided at the Embassy’s website to request an emergency appointment.


    • The CDC extended its border-closing order indefinitely.
  • September 2020 Pro Bono Network Webinar: Understanding Waivers and Extreme Hardship in Humanitarian Cases

    Join Tahirih’s Co-Director of Client Advocacy Kursten Phelps and Litigation Counsel Richard Caldareone for breaking updates on immigration law and policy, and relevant agency updates related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Then at the 26:11 mark the panel will continue last month’s discussion on screening for inadmissibility by introducing viewers to the world of waivers. Discussion includes a review of which waivers are available for which inadmissibility grounds and case types, as well as examines relevant waiver standards, including the extreme hardship standard.

    You can find the recording of the webinar here.




  • August 2020 Pro Bono Network Webinar: Screening for Inadmissibility in your Client’s Case

    Join Tahirih’s Co-Director of Client Advocacy Kursten Phelps and Litigation Counsel Richard Caldareone for breaking updates on immigration law and policy, and relevant agency updates related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Then at the 28:58 mark the panel will get into the fundamentals on how to effectively screen your client for potential inadmissibility.

    You can find the recording of the webinar here.

  • July 2020 Pro Bono Network Webinar: BIA Appeals Fundamentals, Plus Latest Breaking Updates

    As attorneys representing immigrant survivors seeking asylum in immigration courts, changes in jurisprudence and DHS practice since 2017 have made the likelihood of cases advancing to the Board of Immigration Appeals more likely. For the July 2020 Tahirih Pro Bono Network webinar, former BIA Chair David Neal joins Tahirih Atlanta Senior Attorney Lynn Pearson afor an expert review of the fundamentals of BIA appeals. The first 30 minutes of the webinar, as always, review legal updates relevant to pro bono representation of immigrant survivors, and agency updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    You can access the recorded webinar here.

    Register for upcoming Tahirih Pro Bono Network webinars here.


  • Upcoming 2020 Pro Bono Webinar Schedule

    Please join us for Tahirih’s upcoming free, non-CLE Pro Bono Network webinars:

    • September 16: Understanding Waivers and Extreme Hardship in Humanitarian Cases – REGISTER
      Now that you know your client is inadmissible, what can you do about it? In this webinar, Tahirih staff will dive into the world of waivers, reviewing which waivers are available for which inadmissibility grounds and case types, and discuss relevant waiver standards, including the extreme hardship standard.
    • October 21: Strategies to Corroborate your Client’s Testimony – REGISTER
      Whether you are seeking to meet your VAWA, T visa or U visa client’s burden on the “any credible evidence standard” or endeavoring to meet the heightened REAL ID Act requirements on credibility and corroboration for your asylum client, corroboration of your client’s facts and testimony is an essential element to a successful claim. Tahirih staff will explore why corroboration matters and identify strategies to successfully corroborate your client’s claim through sources including primary evidence and affidavits from witnesses within the U.S. or abroad.
    • November 18: Immigrant Visa Consular Processing – REGISTER
      Congratulations, you’ve helped your client get their VAWA self-petition or asylum claim approved. Now how do you get their qualifying relatives who are abroad to the U.S.? In this webinar, Tahirih staff will review the basics of immigrant visa and derivative asylee consular processing, including practice pointers to troubleshoot common challenges. Attendees will also be briefed on recent legal and policy updates, as well as Covid-19 related agency updates.
    • December 16: 2020 in Review and Preparing for 2021 – REGISTER
      Join Tahirih experts for a review of the 2020 legal and advocacy landscape and pro bono network work, before turning to a discussion of preparation and predictions for legal advocacy with immigrant survivors in the new year.
  • June 2020 Pro Bono Network Webinar: Supporting Client Safety, Plus Late Breaking Updates

    Join Tahirih Co-Director of Client Advocacy (Legal Services) Kursten Phelps and Litigation Counsel Richard Caldarone for breaking updates on immigration law and policy in the time of COVID-19, as well as an important review of proposed regulations that would eviscerate the asylum system, and how pro bono attorneys can help in advocacy efforts against these harmful proposals. Finally, at the minute 43:04 mark, our speakers walk listeners through a discussion of a lawyer’s role in supporting client safety during representation and basic strategies for incorporating safety planning into representation.

    You can access the recorded webinar here.


  • April 2020 Tahirih Pro Bono Network Webinar: COVID-19 Updates and Trauma-Informed, Culturally Responsive Advocacy

    In Tahirih’s April 15, 2020 Pro Bono Network Webinar, Tahirih Director of Legal and Social Services Kursten Phelps provides COVID-19 related agency updates and practice tips. Tahirih Litigation Counsel Richard Caldarone reviews recent case law and provides updates on Tahirih impact litigation. At the 39:50 mark, San Francisco Bay Area Pro Bono Network Coordinating Attorney Chriselle Raguro and Social Service Program Manager Alexandra Richardson discuss the intersection of trauma and the migration journey and the added barriers for immigrant survivors of violence. They then turn to best practices for trauma-informed and culturally responsive advocacy for pro bono attorneys.

    You can access the recorded webinar here.