Monday, June 8, 2009

Immigration Judge Benchbook online

June 4, 2009

EOIR Provides Public Access to “Immigration Judge Benchbook”

Vital Reference Handbook for Immigration Judges Is Accessible Online

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced that it has posted the “Immigration Judge Benchbook” (Benchbook) online, as part of ongoing efforts to better meet the information needs of the people it serves. The general public can now view the many reference materials that the nation’s immigration judges use daily to conduct immigration proceedings and carry out crucial decision-making responsibilities. Moreover, providing public access to the Benchbook is in line with EOIR’s efforts to promote greater accountability and transparency of agency operations. The Benchbook is available on EOIR’s website at

EOIR initially established the Benchbook in 1985, as a reference guide developed by immigration judges for use by immigration judges. In 2007, EOIR revamped the Benchbook in an innovative attempt to merge solid legal reasoning with the latest technology available. As a result, the Benchbook is now a vital, up-to-date interactive resource that includes:

  • Tools (such as checklists, worksheets, forms, introductory guides, and sample orders) that help immigration judges prepare for various proceedings.
  • An interactive template that helps immigration judges build clear, concise, and well-reasoned decisions.
  • Internet links and search tools that provide immigration judges quick access to helpful legal resources.
  • “Alerts” that promptly advise immigration judges of relevant legal and policy changes, as well as Benchbook updates.

Information about appearing before immigration judges in immigration court is available in EOIR’s Immigration Court Practice Manual, which can be found on EOIR’s website at

The Benchbook now complements the Immigration Court Practice Manual and the Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual ( apptmtn4.htm) in providing helpful information to the people EOIR serves.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals interpret and adjudicate immigration cases according to United States immigration laws. EOIR’s immigration judges conduct administrative court proceedings in immigration courts located throughout the nation. They determine whether foreign-born individuals—who are charged by the Department of Homeland Security with violating immigration law—should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief from removal and be permitted to remain in this country. The Board of Immigration Appeals primarily reviews appeals of decisions by immigration judges. EOIR’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to ensuring fairness in all of the cases it adjudicates.