Resources for pro se stay of removal

Many of the people we visit in detention lack legal representation, they are representing themselves pro se. While most of our volunteers are neither attorneys nor DOJ accredited representatives, we seek to support detained migrants however we can. Requests for sample stay of removal filings and instructions on how craft a pro se stay of removal motion are among the more common document requests that our volunteers receive. This post rounds up a few of the resources we’ve found more useful.

A stay of removal is typically filed when a respondent seeks to have their case reopened or reconsidered. There are several different ways one can file a stay of removal: 1) directly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) using form I-246, 2) with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), or 3) at a Federal Court. Typically, given the context of the case, detained persons know where they need to file and seek only sample filings or directions regarding how to do so. While, we as non-attorney visitor volunteers cannot provide legal advice, we can share with detained individuals materials on the internet they they cannot access while in detention.

Filing with ICE

On its website, ICE provides form I-246 which is the “Application for a Stay of Deportation of Removal”. The linked document is dated 10/2017 and includes some instructions for filling out a stay of removal application with ICE.

Filing with BIA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) provides a two page fact sheet dated March 2018 that is dedicated to Board of Immigration Appeals Emergency Stay Requests. The document describes what is a stay, what is an emergency stay, what such a stay does, and for how long it is effective. The document states that an emergency stay, “is a stay that is based on an action that is clearly about to happen” typically when “the respondent’s removal from the United States is imminent” or “the respondent’s release from custody is imminent.” Consult the document for further details including contact information.

Filing with the Court

The Yale Law School supplies a sample five page Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal that is dated January 28, 2017. This document was submitted to the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild offers a 14 page practice advisory from 2014 entitled “Seeking a Judicial Stay of Removal in the Court of Appeals.” They also offer a number of other practice advisories, several of which may be relevant to detained pro se respondents.