Immigration Judges Push DOJ to Suspend Hearings During Coronavirus Restrictions
Federal immigration judges demanded that the Justice Department suspend immigration hearings during coronavirus pandemic closings and the national emergency declared by President Trump including limited international travel, closing down businesses and advising that U.S. citizens practice “social distancing.” State and federal courts nationwide have closed in response to the need to limit crowds. On March 12, the National Association of Immigration Judges sent a letter to Executive Office of Immigration Review Director James McHenry, called on the agency to completely suspend master calendar dockets for non-detained individuals, which are initial hearings that often bring 50 or more respondents together in a single courtroom, not including their families and attorneys.
In response to the coronavirus, federal officials are sharply reducing the number of in-person hearings in the nation’s immigration courts.
Sunday night the Executive Office for Immigration Review announced on Twitter that it’s postponing all “master calendar” hearings at courts other than those in detention centers.
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