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Important Information for New Immigrants: The Biden Administration’s “Recent Arrivals” Docket

Hello, dear new immigrants! I am your immigration lawyer Marina Shepelsky of Shepelsky Law Group, and I want to share some important information about brand new changes in the U.S. immigration system that might affect you. This is especially for the recently arrived immigrants from the U.S./Mexican border who are awaiting their immigration hearing.

Before I explain about the new program, I want to clarify that an Immigration Court docket is the court’s calendar where immigrants are called Respondents and are scheduled for Master Calendar Hearings and Individual Hearings to process their removal from the United States and their relief applications filed (defenses from deportation such as Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status, and other legal ways to keep you here in the U.S. and end your removal/deportation court proceedings.)

New Program: “Recent Arrivals” Docket

The Biden administration has created a new program for immigration courts to create special fast track calendars for judges called the “Recent Arrivals” docket, also called the “RA Docket”. This program is designed for expedited removal proceedings for single adult immigrants. This is for the people who recently entered the U.S. at the Mexican border without going through a port of entry and are awaiting their immigration court removal proceedings (court/deportation) hearing to be scheduled.

The RA docket will be destined for five cities only: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The goal of completion for these fast dockets will be 180 days.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you are a single adult and have recently arrived in the U.S. outside of a port of entry, your case might be placed on this new “Recent Arrivals” docket. This means your case will be processed much faster than usual. If you entered as part of a couple or a family, you will likely NOT be placed on this docket.

Expedited Removal

The RA docket program will speed up the deportation (removal) process for those placed on the “Recent Arrivals” docket. Court hearings and decisions will happen very quickly. It’s important to be prepared because your case could be heard and decided in a short time. Judges will have up to 180 days to complete the entire proceeding in your case.

Other Expedited Dockets

Besides the new “Recent Arrivals” docket, there are other expedited dockets that already exist in immigration courts. These dockets also aim to quickly process certain types of cases such as “family docket” and “minors docket” for children.

What Does This Mean for Everyone Else?

If your case is not placed on the “Recent Arrivals” docket or other expedited dockets, it might mean delays in processing your case. Because the courts will focus more time and resources on expedited cases, other cases may take longer to be heard and decided.

How Will the New RA Docket Program Affect Immigrants?

Many people believe that this will be another restriction on immigrants’ access to asylum and will limit people’s ability to have a fair removal hearing. It is not a real solution to the borders problem, it is just a quick fix under political pressure. An expedited process cannot happen without hurting the due process or fair consideration of someone’s case when they have to rush to submit their paperwork and prepare for the hearing under pressure like this. Some say this was done to score cheap political points before the election and offset Trump’s anti-immigrant position, making Biden seem better than he really is for the US immigrants.

What Should You Do Next?

If you have questions about your case or are unsure if your case is on an expedited docket, it is very important to get professional help. We are here to help you understand your situation and find the best solutions.

Schedule a Consultation

Please schedule a consultation to discuss your case and create a plan of action. My phone number for setting up a paid consultation is 718-769-6352. WhatsApp is (718)679-3131, and you also have the option of booking your consultation without picking up a phone by following the link

We are happy to assist you!

Stay informed about all the changes and know your rights. We are always here to support you through this process.

Sincerely, Your Immigration Lawyer Marina Shepelsky

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