THE GIBSON REPORT — 03-01-21 — Compiled By Elizabeth Gibson, Esquire, NY Legal Assistance Group — FEATURING: Under The EOIR Big Top 🎪 Robed TV Carnival Barkers Hand Out Death Sentences ☠️ With Ignorance, Indolence, Indifference, & Insult To Injury!

Elizabeth Gibson
Elizabeth Gibson
Attorney, NY Legal Assistance Group
Publisher of “The Gibson Report”

COVID-19 & Closures

Note: Policies are rapidly changing, so please verify information with the government and colleagues.


EOIR Status Overview & EOIR Court Status Map/List: Hearings in non-detained cases at courts without an announced date are postponed through, and including, March 19, 2021 (The timing of postponement notices has been inconsistent and it is unclear when the next announcement will be. EOIR announced 3/19 on Wed. 2/10, 2/19 on Mon. 1/25, 2/5 on Mon. 1/11, and 1/22 on Mon. 12/28). There is no announced date for reopening NYC non-detained at this time.


USCIS Office Closings, Including Weather




Biden revokes Trump ban on many green card applicants

Reuters: U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering the United States.


Biden to allow migrant families separated under Trump to reunite in the U.S.

Politico: ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero was quick to welcome Mayorkas’ announcement, but cautioned that “the devil is in the details and Secretary Mayorkas has to shed all the caveats and qualifications around his announcement and follow through with everything that’s necessary to right the wrong.” See also Lawyers have found the parents of 105 separated migrant children in past month.


Biden to Discuss Border and Other Issues With Mexican President

NYT: The two leaders, who previously talked about ways to stem migration in a call on Jan. 22, just days after Mr. Biden took office, are expected to discuss addressing the root causes of persecution and poverty that force Central American families to flee to the United States.


First migrant facility for children opens under Biden

WaPo: Government officials say the camp is needed because facilities for migrant children have had to cut capacity by nearly half because of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border has been inching up, with January reporting the highest total — more than 5,700 apprehensions — for that month in recent years.


Federal judge deals Biden another blow on 100-day deportation ban

Politico: U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton granted a preliminary injunction that blocks the moratorium the Biden administration announced on its first day.


ICE investigators used a private utility database covering millions to pursue immigration violations

WaPo: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have tapped a private database containing hundreds of millions of phone, water, electricity and other utility records while pursuing immigration violations, according to public documents uncovered by Georgetown Law researchers and shared with The Washington Post.


The Trump Administration’s Cruelty Haunts Our Virtual Immigration Courts

InTheseTimes: According to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) — the Justice Department agency that oversees these immigration adjudication centers — nearly 300,000 asylum cases have been heard via videoconference in the past two years.


In The Story Of U.S. Immigration, Black Immigrants Are Often Left Out

NPR: Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, tells NPR’s Scott Simon about challenges Black immigrants to the U.S. face.


Consumer watchdog sues immigration services company, claiming it preys on detainees

NBC: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday filed a lawsuit against Libre by Nexus, claiming the company is preying on immigrants through a bond scam that traps participants into paying expensive fees.


The five biggest omissions in massive Biden immigration bill

Examiner: Protocols for caring for families and children, border wall infrastructure, decriminalizing illegal immigration, immigration courts, employment-based immigration, and private detention facilities were not addressed in either the House or Senate versions of the bill.




USCIS Launches Pilot Program to Facilitate Attorney or Representative Remote Participation in an Asylum Interview

USCIS has launched a temporary pilot program to facilitate attorney or representative participation in an asylum interview from a remote location via video or telephone. The pilot program is available only at the Arlington, Boston, Miami, Newark, and Newark/Manhattan Branch asylum offices. AILA Doc. No. 21030131


2nd Circ. Judge Dings Majority’s ‘Uncharitable’ Asylum Ruling

Law360: A fractured Second Circuit panel tossed an El Salvadoran asylum seeker’s appeal, finding that his opposition to gangs was not a political opinion and that he could avoid future beatings, a view the dissenting judge called an “uncharitable” interpretation of the case.


BIA Rules on Special Rule Cancellation of Removal

BIA ruled that an applicant for special rule cancellation of removal under INA §240A(b)(2) based on spousal abuse must demonstrate both that the abuser was their lawful spouse and was either a U.S. citizen or LPR at the time of the abuse. Matter of L-L-P-, 28 I&N Dec. 241 (BIA 2021) AILA Doc. No. 21022432


Justices ‘Baffled,’ ‘Confused’ By Asylum Cases

Law360: A pair of thorny immigration cases “baffled” and “confused” the inquisitive justices of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday as they wrestled with when testimony of asylum applicants must be presumed to be credible.


District Court Indefinitely Stops Government from Executing a 100-Day Moratorium on Removals

A district court grants nationwide preliminary injunction to prohibit enforcement and implementation of the 100-day pause on removals as outlined in the 1/20/21 DHS memo. (State of Texas v. USA, et al., 2/23/21) AILA Doc. No. 21012634


Presidential Proclamation Revoking Immigrant Visa Ban

On 2/24/21, President Biden issued Proclamation 10149 revoking Proclamation 10014, section 1 of Proclamation 10052, and section 1 of Proclamation 10131, which suspended immigrant visas due to the 2019 novel Coronavirus outbreak. (86 FR 11847, 3/1/21) AILA Doc. No. 21022490


DOS Provides Update on the Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services

DOS updates its announcement and FAQs on the phased resumption of visa services following the rescission of Presidential Proclamation 10014, which suspended the entry of certain immigrant visa applicants into the United States. AILA Doc. No. 20071435


DOJ Appeals Ruling Limiting Immigrant Detentions Without a Court Hearing

Documented: Judge Alison Nathan’s Nov. 30 ruling  at U.S. District Court in Manhattan was the first to draw a constitutional line on how long an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee waits for an initial hearing before a judge.


ICE Can’t Keep Transferred Detainee Out Of Fla. Class Action

Law360: A Florida federal judge ruled Friday that a Mexican citizen can join a class action challenging U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement detainee conditions at three South Florida facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the agency cannot escape jurisdiction by transferring him to a facility across the country.


Council Sues Customs and Border Protection to Release Records of Militarized Raids on Humanitarian Aid Station

AIC: The Council and partners filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to compel the government to release documentation of three raids on a humanitarian aid station in the deadly desert in Southern Arizona.


HHS Withdrawal of Request for Comment on Proposed Revisions to Forms for Sponsors of Unaccompanied Children

The Department of Health and Human Services published a notice stating that it is no longer pursuing changes to the forms for sponsors of unaccompanied children on which it had requested public comment on 1/5/21 at 86 FR 308, and therefore withdraws its request for comment. (86 FR 11537, 2/25/21) AILA Doc. No. 21022531


DHS Secretary Mayorkas Announces Family Reunification Task Force Principles and Executive Director

DHS: Secretary Mayorkas announced that Michelle Brané will serve as the Task Force’s Executive Director.  Most recently, she served as the senior director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission.




·         Correction: The ERO ombudsman email that was circulating last week had a typo and should be:

·         AILA: Policy Brief: Walled Off: How USCIS Has Closed Its Doors on Customers and Strayed from Its Statutory Customer Service Mission

·         AILA: Current Leadership of Major Immigration Agencies

·         AILA: Practice Alert: ICE Interim Guidance on Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Priorities

·         AILA: Practice Pointer: Employment Verification During the COVID-19 Outbreak

·         AILA: Summary of the U.S. Citizenship Act

·         AILA: Section-by-Section Summary of the U.S. Citizenship Act

·         AILA: Podcast: Representing a Mentally Ill Client Facing Removal Proceedings

·         AILA: Resource Related to Lawsuit Granting Preliminary Relief for Diversity Visa Applicants

·         ASISTA: New Advisory: Overview of U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 & Its Impact on Immigrant Survivors

·         Black Immigrants Got Talent

·         CGRS: Children’s Asylum Manual: A Resource for Practitioners

·         CLINIC: Biden Administration Rescinds 2018 USCIS Notice to Appear Guidance

·         CLINIC: Department of State Shifts Human Rights Reports Comparison Charts

·         CMS: New Study about Immigrant Health in New York City

·         CRS: Are Temporary Protected Status Recipients Eligible to Adjust Status?

·         GAO: Actions Are Needed to Address the Cost and Readiness Implications of Continued DOD Support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

·         ICYMI: Important Policy & ASISTA Updates

·         ILRC: What Every Noncitizen Must Know About Cannabis and Immigration

·         Immigration Mapping: From Hirabayashi to DACA

·         LGBT Adult Immigrants in the United States

·         LSNYC Practice Advisory on continuances: fourth edition of the sample motion

·         USCIS: Resources on U.S. Citizenship for Adult Adoptees




·         9/23/21 Representing Children in Immigration Matters 2021: Effective Advocacy and Best Practices




Monday, March 1, 2021

·         Join the Deported Veterans Symposium on March 10-12, 2021

·         LGBT Adult Immigrants in the United States

·         Jennifer Lee Koh Joins Pepperdine Law Faculty

·         Democrats Strategizing on Immigration Reform, Piecemeal or the Whole Enchilada?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

·         Year of the Ox’s “Viral” Song Gains Traction Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

·         Brookings Institution: Biden’s Immigration Reset

Saturday, February 27, 2021

·         At the Movies: Minari (2020)

·         Immigration Article of the Day: Freedom of Movement, Migration, and Borders by Jaya Ramji-Nogales & Iris Goldner Lang

Friday, February 26, 2021

·         Vera Institute — A Federal Defender Service for Immigrants Why: We Need a Universal, Zealous, and Person-Centered Model

·         Black Immigrants Got Talent (BIG Talent)

·         At the Movies: The Marksman (2021)

·         Fortress (North) America

·         Immigration Mapping: From Hirabayashi to DACA

·         At the Movies: Alien Terminology and Change the Subject, a 2019 Documentary

·         Immigration Article of the Day: Fee Retrenchment in Immigration Habeas by Seth Katsuya Endo

Thursday, February 25, 2021

·         Big Strides In Reunifying Separated Migrant Familes; Long Ways Still To Go

·         Call For Papers: Forced Migration Review on “Public health and WASH”

·         Immigrant Leaves Maplewood Church After 3½ Years As ICE Decides Not To Deport Him

·         Sister Simone Campbell on Immigration Reform

·         #WeCanWelcome Asylum Seekers: Meet Mirna Linares de Batres

·         Throwback Thursday: My Trials by Judge Paul Grussendorf

·         Immigration Article of the Day: Tried and (Inherently) Prejudiced: Disposing of the Prejudice Requirement for Lack of Counsel in Removal Proceedings by Ayissa Maldonado

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

·         President Biden revokes Trump bans on many green card applicants, temporary foreign workers

·         Court Enjoins Biden Administration’s 100 Day Removal Pause

·         Ahilan Arulanantham joins UCLA School of Law as co-faculty director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy

·         The five biggest omissions in massive Biden immigration bill

·         Immigration Article of the Day: Capital Controls as Migrant Controls by Shayak Sarkar, California Law Review, Forthcoming

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

·         From ‘aliens’ to ‘noncitizens’ – the Biden administration is proposing to change a legal term to recognize the humanity of non-Americans

·         Congressmember Debbie Leski’s Racist Remarks

·         Teaching Immigration Law: Law School Clinics in the US and UK

·         Immigration Article of the Day: Statelessness as Rhetoric: The Case for Revisioning Statelessness in Our Statist World by Francis Tom Temprosa

Monday, February 22, 2021

·         From the Bookshelves: Migrant Conversions:  Transforming Connections between Peru and South Korea by Erica Vogel

·         Supreme Court News: Court to Review Public Charge Case, Hear Asylum Credibility Oral Arguments Tomorrow

·         USCIS restores citizenship and naturalization test

·         Immigration Lawyers Toolbox®

·         Code Compare on Lexis Nexis

·         Human Rights Watch — US: Take New Approach at Mexico Border

·         In Challenging Times, A Call for African American/Asian American Unity

·         Former Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller slams Biden immigration proposal

·         Immigration Article of the Day: The Political (Mis)representation of Immigrants in Voting by Ming Hsu Chen and Hunter Knapp


Check out “Top News #7.” It’s an article by Arvind Dilawar in In These Times about “EOIR’s Black Sites,” 🏴‍☠️ euphemistically known as “Immigration Adjudication Centers” where imposters masquerading as “judges” “process” cases by TV on the deportation assembly line, often without regard to the law, the facts, and the humanity of their victims and the lawyers representing them.

Here’s an excerpt:

Lisa Koop, associate director of legal services for the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), stood with her client in immigration court in September 2019. The client (name withheld for privacy) had escaped violence in Central America and fled to the United States with her young daughter. Here, they were taken into custody by immigration authorities, which landed them in this courtroom, waiting to hear whether they would be granted asylum.

They were initially scheduled with a traditional, in-person immigration judge. But that judge retired and the case was transferred to an “immigration adjudication center.” This new judge video conferenced in. Koop says the judge did not allow an opening statement, was not familiar with relevant precedent and did not ask Koop to address any particularities of the case in the closing argument. The judge ruled that, while the case was “very sad,” it did not meet the criteria for asylum, then wished Koop’s client “good luck” following deportation.

This outrageous mockery of due process, fundamental fairness, and real judicial proceedings is ongoing, in the Department of “Justice” — yes, folks, the Chief Prosecutor of the U.S. maintains his own “wholly owned” “court system”  in a nation where justice supposedly is unbiased and impartial — more than five weeks into the Biden Administration.

Last week, we heard a refreshingly emotional expression of personal gratitude and recognition of the essential role of refugee protections from Judge Merrick Garland. 

What we haven’t heard to date is a recognition that what will soon be “his” DOJ treats refugees (in this case vulnerable asylum seekers) with disdain and disrespect “revved up” by four years of White Nationalist abuses heaped on them by Judge Garland’s corrupt predecessors as AGs for Trump. We also have yet to hear what Judge Garland plans to do about the deadly and disreputable “EOIR Clown Show” 🤡🦹🏿‍♂️ which will soon be operating under his auspices and which, whether he realizes it or not, will form the the major part of his legacy to American Justice.

Judge Garland should call up folks like Lisa Koop at NIJC, Claudia Valenzuela at American Immigration Council, and their colleagues to get a “real life dose” of what it means to be or represent an asylum seeker in today’s dysfunctional and disreputable Immigration “Courts” that actually are 21st Century Star Chambers.

Star Chamber Justice
Star Chamber

Better yet, he should replace the current EOIR Senior Executives and BIA Appellate Immigration Judges with Koop, Valenzuela, and others like them — “practical experts” in due process, equal justice, immigration, and human rights — who would restore and advance judicial integrity and fairness to a system that has abandoned and trampled upon those fundamental values!

Grim Reaper
G. Reaper Approaches ICE Gulag With “Imbedded Captive Star Chamber” Run By EOIR, For Their “Partner” Reaper
Image: Hernan Fednan, Creative Commons License

As stated at the end of Dilawar’s article: Asylum-seekers are wrongfully denied asylum, and justice is not served.” Duh!

🇺🇸🗽⚖️Due Process Forever! End the EOIR Clown Show!🤡🦹🏿‍♂️🎪☠️