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Have you been ordered removed or deported from the United States by an Immigration Judge? Maybe you were present in court on the day it occurred. Maybe you missed a court date and were unaware that a judge ordered your removal. In either case, it is deeply concerning and the idea that at any moment you might be taken from your home and sent back to a country you barely know can be overwhelming.
While an order of removal may feel like the end of the road, it does not have to be. There is a tool that highly skilled immigration attorneys reach for in these cases: a Motion to Reopen.
A motion to reopen can be a second chance. A motion to reopen can be a second chance to keep your green card. A motion to reopen can be a second chance to keep your family together.
What is a Motion to Reopen?
A motion to reopen is a formal motion filed by a Respondent that requests that an Immigration Court to reopen proceedings after the Immigration Judge has previously made a decision on a case. The purpose of a motion to reopen is so that the Immigration Judge can consider new facts or evidence in the case.
How do I know if my case is eligible for a Motion to Reopen?
Motions to reopen generally must be filed within 90 days of a final order of removal. However, there are exceptions to this time limitation for (1) changed circumstances when a motion to reopen is based on a request for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture, (2) in absentia proceedings where the Respondent was removed without being physically present, (3) joint motions that are agreed to by the Department of Homeland Security, (4) motions to reopen filed solely by the Department of Homeland Security, (5) motions to reopen filed before September 30, 1996, (6) motions to reopen by battered spouses, children, or parents, (7) other reasons including, but not limited to, exceptions created by special statutes, case law, directives, or other special legal circumstances.
In addition to analyzing whether you have a motion to reopen that can be timely filed or fall under an exception to the time limitations, you must generally have new evidence in your case.
The statute requires that the motion to reopen “state the new facts that will be proven at a hearing if the motion is granted” and include “affidavits or other evidentiary material.” 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7).
Some examples of new evidence that could potentially lead to a motion to reopen include, but are not limited to the following:
- Ineffective assistance of your prior counsel that prejudiced your case;
- A newly vacated criminal conviction;
- Changes in personal circumstances (marriage to a U.S. citizen, U.S. citizen child now over 21, or medical hardship of you or an immediate relative) that now make you eligible for relief;
- Changes in country conditions (related to asylum, withhold of removal, or protection under the Convention against Torture);
- New case law that affects removability or now makes you eligible for relief.
In short, analyzing whether an individual is eligible to file a motion to reopen is an extremely complex process and ideally that process should be evaluated by an experienced immigration attorney.
Find an Attorney for Motions to Reopen in Miami, FL
When an Immigration Judge enters an order of removal in your case, although it may feel as if all hope is lost, consider speaking with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss whether a Motion to Reopen is right for you. Understandably, many people want to give up and take a step back from their case because the process is long and exhausting. However, there are important deadlines that must be adhered to if you want your case considered for a Motion to Reopen.
If you or a family member has an order of removal, you should have an experienced immigration attorney review the case to see if the case is eligible for a motion to reopen. At Hubbs Law, attorneys Erika and E.J. Hubbs have over two decades of experience and are highly skilled immigration attorneys.
Hubbs Law represents clients on all different types of immigration cases, including motions to reopen, all over Miami-Dade County including, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay, South Miami, Homestead, Kendall, Miami Beach, Brickell, Hialeah, and more.
Department of Justice – Miami Immigration Court - find information on Miami Immigration Court that handles the filings of all motions to reopen on non-detained cases in South Florida.
Department of Justice – Krome Immigration Court - find information on Krome Immigration Court that handles the filings of motions to reopen on detained cases in South Florida.
Department of Justice – Immigration Court Practice Manual on Motions to Reopen - find information on the Executive Office of Immigration Review’s rules and guideline regarding motions to reopen.
8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7)(C)(i); 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(c)(7)(A) - Deadlines and numerical limitations to File a Motion to Reopen.
8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.23(b)(3) - Type of Evidence Required to File a Motion to Reopen
Attorneys E.J. & Erika Hubbs
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