This webinar will cover motions to reopen in front of the immigration judge and the BIA. It will give an overview of the legal requirements, filing procedures, and bases for reopening removal proceedings. It will discuss motions to reopen in absentia orders, motions based on eligibility for immigration relief, and motions based on ineffective assistance of counsel. This webinar assumes a basic understanding of removal proceedings and immigration relief.
Aruna Sury is a Senior Staff Attorney with the ILRC’s San Francisco office. Her work focuses on removal defense, administrative and federal appeals, and immigration consequences of crimes. Through the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program, Aruna provides legal guidance to criminal defense and immigration counsel. She regularly contributes to ILRC publications by authoring and updating content that enables practitioners to provide high quality representation to their clients. Aruna also presents ILRC trainings and CLE courses on a variety of topics.
Since obtaining her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001, Aruna has dedicated her career to the areas of immigration and civil rights in various settings in San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin. She has worked in law firm and solo practice environments as well as in non-profit and public organizations, including Washington Defender Association, University of Washington, Kids in Need of Defense, and Political Asylum Project of Austin (now American Gateways). Aruna’s personal interest is in immigrants’ due process rights, particularly the right to effective counsel and expansive access to judicial review. She has litigated numerous cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as other circuit courts.
Merle Kahn, Consultant Attorney - ILRC
Merle Kahn has been exclusively practicing immigration law for over thirty years. She has vast experience in removal defense, federal appeals, the immigration consequences of crimes, family immigration, naturalization, and humanitarian immigration such as asylum, VAWA and U visas. She provides technical assistance through the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program mentoring and assisting public defenders, criminal defense attorneys, and nonprofit attorneys and staff with a vast array of immigration law and questions.
Since joining the ILRC as a consultant in 2023, she has contributed to several ILRC manuals including, Essentials of Asylum Law, Temporary Protected Status: Practice and Strategies, Removal Defense: Defending Immigrants in Immigration Court, and California Judges Benchbook: Domestic Violence Cases. (Helen, can you please check the name?). She has authored practice advisories, presented webinars, led the ILRC 40 hour basic immigration law training, and has served as a panelist on a number of issues for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Prior to joining the ILRC she was Of Counsel at Daniel Shanfield – Immigration Defense, PC, which she represented clients before USCIS, ICE, EOIR, and the Ninth Circuit. She is the creator and writer of Top of the Ninth, a blog about important Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, and Board of Immigration Appeals immigration cases. She founded and directed a pro bono legal clinic for refugees and asylees through Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley (JFS) and AILA. In 2016 Merle was named an AILA Pro Bono Champion. Before entering the field of immigration law, Merle was a prosecutor for the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission for the Supreme Court of Illinois. Merle earned her law degree from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois where she majored in English and American Literature. Merle is admitted to the California Bar.
Andrew Craycroft, Staff Attorney - ILRC
Andrew joined the ILRC in May 2019 as a Staff Attorney focusing on immigrant youth issues. Prior to joining the ILRC, he worked at Staten Island Legal Services representing clients in a variety of affirmative and defensive immigration matters. Previously, Andrew worked at the Unaccompanied Minors Program of Catholic Charities Community Services in New York, representing detained and released unaccompanied minors in removal defense.Andrew received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he participated in the Center for Applied Legal Studies Clinic. Andrew earned his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in Political Economy of Industrial Societies. Andrew is admitted to the bar in New Jersey and New York. He is fluent in French and Spanish with some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, and Arabic.