Monday, June 22, 2009

Irorere (not precedential): IJ Cannot Interrupt Immigrants And Stop Them From Presenting Evidence

Irorere v. Holder
Not Precedential
May 1, 2009
Judges Scirica, Chagares, and Weis. Per Curiam decision.

The Third Circuit overturned BIA and IJ Walter Durling for IJ Durling's mid-sentence interruption of the respondent after only a few words and not allowing him to present any further evidence. Particularly when the man had substantial evidence that he then tried to include in his appeal to the BIA.

IJ Durling explained to the man that he had already reached his decision in the case. Nevertheless, even if IJ Durling reached his decision without seeing the evidence the man was ready to offer, the IJ should have at least allowed the man to submit his evidence.

The Third Circuit's decision makes good sense -- just because an IJ is not going to rule in your favor does not mean you should stop submitting evidence to support your argument. It would be improper for an IJ to stop you from submitting evidence. If an IJ makes such an improper ruling, though, you should comply with the IJ's order and lodge a timely appeal.

It would be an improvement if EOIR could train the immigration judges to allow litigants to submit evidence that supports their claims. It would also be helpful if the BIA would step in to fix these problems, rather than upholding the decisions and leaving it up to the individuals to spend the time and money of filing an appeal with a circuit court.


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