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After the immigration court makes an unfavorable decision regarding a case, the parties involved have the right to appeal the…

After the immigration court makes an unfavorable decision regarding a case, the parties involved have the right to appeal the outcome. They can request that the case be reopened, or to have the court reconsider their decision. The court can then review the case and choose to change the decision. For example, the court may reverse a decision to deport a noncitizen, or to deny permanent resident status to an applicant. Filing a motion will give a noncitizen a chance to have the immigration court reverse such a decision.

Motions are a vital part of the legal process, especially for immigrants who are attempting to overcome an unfavorable decision in their case. The motion is a formal request made to a court or administrative body, requesting a specific action to be taken in a matter. This can include asking for a case to be reopened or reconsidered, requesting a continuance, or seeking a summary judgment.

There are two main types of motions that individuals can file to appeal a decision – a motion to reopen, and a motion to reconsider.

Motion to Reopen

A motion to reopen is an official request to have a previously closed case reopened and reviewed. It is for situations involving new facts. If an individual discovers new facts or evidence after the original hearing, they may be able to reopen the case and present the new evidence. Motions to Reopen must be filed before the BIA within 90 days of the original decision.

Motion to Reconsider

A Motion to Reconsider can be filed for cases in which the original decision did not apply the law correctly. This incorrect application is called “alleged errors of fact or law”. A Motion to Reconsider can also be filed for cases in which the decision violated constitutional rights. An individual must show why the initial ruling was incorrect and, thus, should be altered. Motions to Reconsider must be filed with the BIA within 30 day of the original decision.

Motions play a significant role in the legal process for immigrants. It is important to seek out an immigration attorney who is familiar with the rights of immigrants, and who understands the complexities of the legal system. The attorney can help you to file a motion to reopen or to reconsider your case, or determine if filing a motion to reopen/reconsider is appropriate in your situation.

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