Appeals, Motions and Federal Litigation


Immigration Appeals and Motions

Courtney McDermed has extensive experience representing noncitizens and their families with their immigration appeals and motions. If a person receives an adverse decision from an immigration judge or immigration officer, he or she has a right to appeal that decision. Indeed, decisions of immigration judges are not final and can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Similarly, decisions of immigration officers can be appealed to either the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Administrative Appeals Office. It’s important to note that there are strict deadlines for when an appeal must be filed so anyone who receives an adverse decision should exercise their rights and consult with an experienced attorney immediately.

Federal Litigation

Apart from administrative appeals, federal courts have jurisdiction to review certain cases, including final orders of removal. If the Board of Immigration Appeals dismisses a case, there is still the right to appeal to a federal court. This process is called a petition for review. A person who files a petition for review can also file a stay of removal while the petition for review is pending. Again, there is a strict deadline that must be met. Federal courts are also playing an increasing role in protecting immigrants’ rights and ending unreasonable delays. Whether it’s challenging the government’s position or compelling the immigration service to make a decision in a case, Courtney is prepared to use the federal courts to protect immigrants’ rights.

Motions to Reopen or Reconsider

Separate from but related to immigration appeals are motions to reopen or reconsider. If there is new evidence or a change in circumstances, it may be possible to reopen removal proceedings. However, there are strict time and numeric limits to motions to reopen. Although these limits may be tolled (for example by ineffective assistance of counsel) a person should never sit on their rights. Rather, it’s imperative that when circumstances change, a mistake has been detected or concerns have been raised that the person or someone they know consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights. -Bishop Desmond Tutu