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Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the US Department of Justice which is responsible for deciding whether immigrants are deportable/removable from the United States. The agency includes the Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO).

The principal function of the Immigration Courts is to conduct removal (deportation) proceedings, which are administrative proceedings to determine the removability of individuals in the United States. The BIA decides cases on appeal from the Immigration Courts.

Many indigents and families have been deported because they could not find a pro bono attorney to represent them. Indigents people are not able to hire the service of a private lawyer.  Most of them represent themselves. The government is always represented by an experienced attorney. Persons who represent themselves in courts usually self-incriminate themselves. . If the Immigration Judge finds them removable and denies their application for relief from removal, they can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). However, the attorney who handles the appeal with not be able to introduce new evidence or call any witnesses. He will have to work with the transcript of the hearing and write an appeal brief. That's why it is so important for indigents to be represented by counsel.

Another alternative, available in some matters, is to submit either Motion to Reopen if new facts occur after the Judge decides the case, or a Motion to Reconsider if there is a change in the law.

In most cases, there are strict time limits that must be followed in submitting Appeals and Motions to Reopen/Reconsider. However, these time limits do not necessarily when a person loses a case because of “ineffective assistance of counsel” or because the Court failed to give proper notice of the hearing and the “respondent” failed to appear. Some, but not all, cases denied by the BIA may be challenged in the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

The BIA also hears appeals of certain types of petitions for immigration appeals. For example, if an I-130 relative visa petition is denied by the USCIS, the petitioner may appeal the denial to the BIA.

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer is comprised of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who conduct hearings regarding: 1) I-9 violations by employers; 2) Anti-discrimination and document abuse violations; and Immigration document fraud violations.


  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Page

  • Fraud Prevention and Attorney Discipline Programs

  • EOIR Phone Numbers

  • Virtual Law Library And Immigration Resource Center

  • Operating Policies And Procedures Memoranda (OPPM) Log

  • Monthly “Immigration Law Advisor”

  • The Basics of Motions to Reopen Government-Issued Removal Orders (2-07-18)

  • Memo on Continuances and Administrative Closure (3-7-13)

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