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AG Sessions issues Matter of L-A-B-R-, restricting continuances

  1. Original Date Announced

    August 16, 2018

    In issuing Matter of L-A-B-R-, AG Sessions re-interprets the regulations that allow IJs to grant continuances “for good cause shown.” 8 CFR § 1003.29. The decision holds that an IJ must consider two principal factors in deciding if good cause has been shown when an individual is pursuing a collateral matter: (1) the likelihood that the respondent will receive collateral relief and (2) whether that relief will affect the outcome of the removal proceedings. The decision directs IJs to balance all relevant factors, especially the respondent’s diligence in seeking collateral relief, DHS' position on the motion for continuance, concerns of administrative efficiency, the length of the continuance requested, the number of hearings already held and continuances previously granted, and the timing of the motion for continuance. The AG complains that "[t]he overuse of continuances in the immigration courts is a significant and recurring problem" and decries how "[u]njustified continuances provide an illegitimate form of de facto relief from removal."

    [ID #176]

    Matter of L-A-B-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 405 (AG 2018)
  2. Effective Date

    August 16, 2018

Current Status

Fully in Effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Adjudication
Subject Matter: Hearings and Adjudications
Agencies Affected: EOIR AG ICE

Associated or Derivative Policies

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • April 22, 2009

    In Matter of Hashmi, 24 I&N Dec. 785 (BIA 2009), the BIA set a standard for continuances, allowing immigration judges to take into consideration a number of factors, including future eligibility for an immigrant visa or other relief.

    Matter of Hashmi, 24 I&N Dec. 785 (BIA 2009)

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