Board of Immigration Appeals Issues Narrow Holding Limiting Ability to Reopen Removal Orders

On January 28, 2022, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a ruling in Matter of Laparra, holding that a properly served noncitizen has received sufficient notice of a hearing, even if that respondent was served a noncompliant “notice to appear” that did not specify the time or place of the hearing This decision will limit the ability of some noncitizens to reopen removal orders for failing to appear at a removal hearing. Noncitizens who failed to attend their immigration court hearings can still pursue motions to reopen based on lack of notice or, alternately in some cases, based on exceptional circumstances. Alternately, noncitizens ordered removed in absentia can also seek reopening based on a joint motion with the DHS.


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