Will my hearing at Cleveland immigration court be cancelled because of COVID-19?
As of July 2020, the Cleveland Immigration Court is holding a limited number of hearings each day for people who are in removal proceedings. Some of the hearings are taking place in person at the court, but some hearings can be attended by calling in using a program called WebEx. Your hearing notice should explain whether you need to attend in person or have the option of calling in to the hearing, and it should give instructions about how to call in to the hearing if that is an option.
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.
You should also receive a notice in the mail from the court telling you that your hearing has been scheduled, or rescheduled if it was cancelled while the court was closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 currently open and is holding a limited number of appointments, and offering limited services, each day.
You should receive a notice in the mail from USCIS letting you know that your appointment or interview has been cancelled, scheduled, or rescheduled if it was cancelled while the office was closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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, or check the status of your application on the USCIS website at Case Status Online - Case Status Search (uscis.gov).
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).
Can my family member who is detained for immigration reasons asked to be released because of COVID-19?
Yes, your family member can submit a request to be released to immigration authorities (ICE), who will make make a case-by-case decision about whether to release the person who is being detained. 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/.