Motion to Reopen a Removal Order: Four Things You Need to Know

Under the Trump Administration, federal immigration officers are ramping up deportations.

According to data published by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency conducted more than 225,000 removals from the country in the 2017 fiscal year alone. If a deportation order was issued against you, there may still be legal options available.

In some cases, it could even make sense to file a motion to reopen the case. To be clear, this is NOT advisable in every circumstance. In this article, our top-rated Los Angeles immigration attorney provides some important information about a motion to reopen and explains what you need to do if you are considering filing one.

What is a Motion to Reopen?

A motion to reopen is a legal tool that allows a person to ask an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to assess new evidence that is relevant to their case or to vacate a previous deportation order. It only makes sense to file a motion to reopen in certain circumstances. This is not a general appeal of a removal order.

What are the Grounds to File a Motion to Reopen?

The grounds to file a successful motion to reopen a removal order are relatively narrow. In other cases, different options, such as filing an appeal or submitting a motion for reconsideration of the case, may be a better choice. Under U.S. immigration law, applicants generally must provide new evidence that supports their status to remain in the U.S. to have their motion to reopen granted. The new evidence must be evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the initial hearing.

What is the Deadline to File this Motion?

Similar to other immigration filings, a motion to reopen a removal order is subject to a strict deadline. With few exceptions, you must submit your motion within 90 days of the date that the final deportation order was issued.

If you fail to take action before the deadline, your motion to reopen could be automatically dismissed as a matter of law. If you are considering filing this motion, it is imperative that you speak to a Los Angeles immigration lawyer as soon as possible after receiving a removal order. There is no time to waste.

Should You Always File a Motion to Reopen?

No. Absolutely not. Never file a motion to reopen without first consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. Your lawyer will conduct a comprehensive review of your case and determine if filing a motion to reopen is a sensible option for you or for your family member. If you file this type of motion when you are sure to have it denied, the only result will be that immigration authorities will be alerted. Indeed, you could even face a second, new deportation/removal order being issued against you.

Contact Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our skilled immigration attorney has more than fifteen years of experience handling a wide range of legal law matters. If you are considering a motion to reopen, please contact our legal team for a confidential consultation. From our law office in Los Angeles, we serve immigrants throughout Southern California.