What Authority Do Immigration Courts Have?

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The Immigration Court is a separate court system run by the U.S. Department of Justice.  This court only deals with immigration-related issues.  Immigration Court judges have broad authority over cases brought before the court.

Immigration Court judges have the ability to make decisions on whether someone is removable or deportable.  At the same time, judges can stop a deportation, offer asylum, or grant protection under the Convention Against Torture.  Judges may also review evaluations of foreign nationals made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Immigration Court judges also have the power to take actions that assists them with the above tasks.  They can rule on motions, issue subpoenas, and order pre-trial conferences.

Finally, although Immigration Court judges exercise broad authority, there are some immigration-related issues which these judges do not have control.  These include visa petitions and employment authorizations.  Also, judges do not have the ability to either accept or revoke naturalization. 

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Last Modified: 05-15-2012 02:32 PM PDT

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