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EOIR Director issues Matter of Bay Area Legal Services, Inc., rules on several R&A issues

  1. Original Date Announced

    May 22, 2020

    The EOIR Director issues Matter of Bay Area Legal Services, Inc., a recognition and accreditation (R&A) precedent decision that holds:

    • The Assistant Director for Policy may extend the deadline for a request for reconsideration when it involves the denial of an initial application for recognition or accreditation, but not if it involves either termination of R&A status or the renewal of R&A status. Terminations and renewals are subject to a mandatory 30-day deadline and are not subject to equitable tolling.
    • Any request for reconsideration must demonstrate an error of fact or law in the previous decision.
    • The Director reviews R&A decisions de novo.
    • Unless overruled by subsequent precedent or superseded by statute, regulation, or a federal court decision, BIA R&A precedents remain good law.
    • For full accreditation (i.e., practice before both DHS and EOIR), the proposed representative must not only meet all the requirements for partial accreditation (i.e., practice before DHS) but also possess “skills essential for effective litigation.” Such skills include, at a minimum, “the ability to advocate a client's position at a hearing before an Immigration Judge by presenting documentary evidence and questioning witnesses, to present oral arguments before the Board, and to prepare motions and briefs for consideration by an Immigration Judge and/or [the] Board.”

    [ID #1116]

    Matter of BAY AREA LEGAL SERVICES, INC. 27 I&N Dec. 837 (DIR2020)
  2. Effective Date

    May 22, 2020

Current Status

Fully in Effect

Original Trump Policy Status

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

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • An EOIR rule published in 2016 effectuated several changes to the R&A Program, including the transfer of responsibility for it from the BIA to OLAP. It also established a reconsideration process and a process for further administrative review by the Director. This decision seeks to clarify issues not addressed in the 2016 final rule.

    Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives

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