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EOIR Director rescinds and replaces OPPMs on pro bono representation

  1. Original Date Announced

    December 10, 2020

    Via Policy Memo 21-08, the EOIR Director rescinds and replaces OPPM 08-01 (Guidelines for Facilitating Pro Bono Legal Services) and OPPM 97-1 (Maintaining the List of Free Legal Service Providers). The memo discusses the maintenance of the agency's pro bono list and the "legal, ethical, and professional responsibility concerns" of pro bono representatives. It also reiterates the expectation that pro bono representation be identified in the record, that judges should take pro bono cases first at master calendar hearings, and judges should be flexible in allowing pro bono representatives to appear telephonically or through televideo. The memo also admonishes judges, in deciding cases, not to be influenced by the fact that a case is represented pro bono. (The memo does not reference pro bono representation of minors, as the previous guidance had done.)

    [ID #1232]

    PM 21-08: Pro Bono Legal Services
  2. Effective Date

    December 10, 2020
  4. Biden Administration Action: Revoked/Replaced

    November 5, 2021

    2021.11.05 DM 22-01 Provide guidance to immigration courts and court staff on encouraging and facilitating pro bono legal services for respondents; rescind and cancel Policy Memorandum 21-08

    This Biden administration action revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On November 5, 2021, EOIR Director David Neal issued a Director's Memorandum on pro bono legal services that rescinded and replaced Policy Memorandum 21-08. The Director's Memorandum emphasizes that EOIR "welcomes and encourages pro bono representation," and directs immigration judges and court staff to "accommodate and facilitate pro bono representation as much as practicable."

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Current Status

Not in effect
November 5, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Actions: Agency Directive Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Hearings and Adjudications
Agencies Affected: EOIR

Pre Trump-Era Policies

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