Immigrants in Texas and around the country who are facing deportation may remain in the United States temporarily if the Board of Immigration Appeals issues what is known as a stay of removal. Stays of removal are issued automatically or after a judge assigned to the BIA has studied the facts of the case. They do not put an end to immigration proceedings, but they do allow immigrants to remain in America while their appeals or motions are pending.
The BIA does not hold courtroom proceedings before issuing stays of removal. Instead, judges make their decisions after examining the case file and documents submitted by the immigrant facing deportation. This is known as a paper review. Stays of removal are issued automatically when an order of removal is appealed based on the merits of the case within 30 days of the judge’s decision or an immigrant files a direct appeal. They are also granted if an immigrant was not present when the motion to reopen deportation proceedings was denied or the case is still pending before an immigration judge. Automatic stays of removal are not issued when appeals are based on custody or bond decisions.
Discretionary stays of removal
When an automatic stay of removal is not granted, an immigration judge may issue a discretionary stay if an appeal or motion to reopen or reconsider is pending. Requests for an automatic or discretionary stay should be submitted in writing, but exceptions may be made in urgent situations where time is of the essence.
Requesting a stay of removal
The rules dealing with stays of removal are strict, and requests submitted to the BIA must meet parameters laid down by U.S. immigration law. An attorney familiar with removal proceedings could explain the process to immigrants worried about deportation, and they could also ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed properly and submitted within the time allowed.