Anyone involved in the immigration law environment, whether as a lawyer or a client, will notice quickly that immigration court is different from other US courts. For example, there are few, if any, rigid procedural rules. While most federal judges are voted upon by the Senate, an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) is chosen exclusively by the Executive branch, and his or her rulings often reflects the attitudes of the President appointing them. This is because immigration courts are not independent “courts” at all- they part of a collection of administrative agencies charged with applying U.S. immigration laws. This includes the Board of Immigration Appeals (or “BIA”), located in Falls Church, VA, which hears appeals from Immigration Judges’ rulings.

At some point, however, you do have the right to have your case presented to a panel of federal circuit judges. An immigrant who receives an adverse decision from the BIA may appeal it to the local Circuit Court of Appeals. For anyone in the western states, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, your appeal must be to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The bulk of Ninth Circuit immigration appeals come from one of two types of cases. The first type is denials of asylum; the second type is removal orders following a criminal conviction. If your case falls within either of these areas, it is important to understand several points, even before you have to decide whether to appeal:

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Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques. His law group, Shah Peerally Law Group, has represented clients all over the United States constantly dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Custom Enforcement(ICE) and CBP (Customs Border Patrol (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This department was formerly known as the Immigration and Nationality Services (INS).