Motions to Reopen

Reopening Removal Orders

Quite often, a person may have been referred for removal proceedings without having received proper notice. When a non-citizen fails to appear for removal proceedings, an Immigration Judge may, and likely will, automatically order the person removed from the U.S. for failing to appear for removal hearings. Many times a person may have an order of removal which is several years old that they were unaware of, only to learn of it when they later file new paperwork with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Motions to Reopen are a way of petitioning the court to reopen the order of removal based on various reasons, often on improper notification of the proceedings. However, one must be aware that Motions to Reopen are numerically limited.

In addition, in certain instances it may be appropriate to request the Department of Homeland Security to join in a Motion to Reopen Removal Proceedings, or to petition the Court or Board of Immigration Appeals to reopen based on certain humanitarian factors. These motions are typically based on the foreign national having new immigration relief available at the time of the motion that was not previously available to him/her at the time of the initial proceedings, though there may be other instances where the Department of Homeland Security would consider joining in a Motion to Reopen.

An order of removal is a serious matter, as the Department of Homeland Security could seek to enforce an outstanding order of removal at any time. If enforced, a person typically has very limited time to act. It is for that reason that a foreign national who is aware of an order of removal entered against them should consult with an experienced attorney immediately upon learning they have been ordered removed by an Immigration Judge.