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Immigration: What is happening at Immigration Agencies (EOIR, USCIS, an ICE) during COVID-19?



Will my hearing at Cleveland immigration court be cancelled because of COVID-19?

The Cleveland Immigration Court is not holding any hearings for people who are not in immigration detention. If your family member is detained, his or her hearing will happen as scheduled. If you or your family member is not detained and your hearing is supposed to take place between now and May 15, 2020, it will be rescheduled—you do not need to go to the court for your hearing.

You should frequently check the status of your case by calling 1-800-898-7180 or by visiting https://portal.eoir.justice.gov/InfoSystem/Form?Language=EN. You will need your A number, which is on all of the documents that you have received from the immigration court. It is a number that starts with the letter “A” and is followed by 8 or 9 digits.

The immigration court may not have rescheduled your hearing or updated the automated system yet. You should receive a notice in the mail from the court telling you that your hearing has been rescheduled. Make sure that the immigration court has your current address so they can send you the notice. To update your address with the immigration court, you need to complete and mail a Change of Address Form. The form is available at https://www.justice.gov/eoir/file/640091/download.

For current information about immigration court closures, visit https://www.justice.gov/eoir/eoir-operational-status-during-coronavirus-pandemic.

 Will my appointment or interview with the immigration office (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS) be cancelled because of COVID-19?

The USCIS office in Cleveland is closed until at least May 4, 2020. If your appointment or interview is scheduled between now and May 4, 2020, it will be rescheduled—you do not need to go to the USCIS office for your appointment.

You should receive a notice in the mail from USCIS letting you know that your appointment or interview has been cancelled. If you have moved since filing your application, you must update your address with USCIS. For information about how to update your address, visit https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange.

For current information about USCIS office closures, visit https://www.uscis.gov/. You can also call 1-800-375-5283 to talk to a USCIS representative about any specific questions you have about your application.

Will my check-in appointment with ICE be cancelled because of COVID-19?

Ohio ICE has not released general information about how they are currently handling check-in appointments. Our understanding is that an immigration officer should call you to reschedule your appointment. If you have not yet received a call from an officer, you should call the officer assigned to your case. This information may be on the documents you have received from ICE.

If you do not know the name and phone number of your ICE officer, call the Brooklyn Heights, Ohio office at 216-749-9955. If no one answers, leave a message with your name and A number. If you have trouble getting in touch with someone from ICE about your upcoming check-in appointment, please contact Legal Aid at 216-687-1900 (216-586-3190 for Spanish).

Will my family member who is detained for immigration reasons be released because of COVID-19?

Probably not.  Immigration authorities (ICE) are not routinely releasing immigrant detainees from jail, same as before COVID 19. Family members may request a person be released from jail based on the danger that COVID-19 poses to his/her health. If your family member is detained at the Geauga County Jail and is at higher risk for severe illness as a result of coronavirus (See CDC list of people at higher risk ), please call our office at 216-861-5890 or 216-861-5310 to speak with a bilingual (English/Spanish) staff person.

Legal Aid also takes applications for any detainee who needs legal representation to request release from detention on bond and/or protection from deportation. You can apply for Legal Aid’s services by calling 216-687-1900 (216-586-3190 for Spanish) or click here to apply online.

To learn more about the ways your family member can be released from immigration detention, please visit https://firrp.org/resources/prose/.

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