Immigration attorneys nationwide have witnessed a concerning increase in immigration judges issuing deportation decisions without individualized analysis. Instead, these barebones decisions often rely on boilerplate “form addenda,” which are standardized summaries of immigration law not specific to any noncitizen’s case.

This week, in response to these concerning practices, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition and pro bono counsel O’Melveny & Myers, along with over 50 partner organizations, have submitted a letter advocating that the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) reform its policies governing the use of form addenda.

Because they are not specific to a person’s individual case and are instead just stapled to a deportation order as legal justification, the addenda usually include irrelevant issues and sometimes incorrect statements of the law. Plus, the noncitizen and their attorney often never see a copy of the addenda.

The sign-on letter urges EOIR to take multiple, concrete steps to change its policies governing the use of form addenda. These measures include increased training on addenda usage for immigration judges, making form addenda publicly accessible, and appointing an ombudsman to investigate addenda misuse.

“Due to the drastic consequences for immigrants in deportation cases—including family separation and possible persecution and death in people’s home countries—the law requires U.S. immigration judges to conduct an individualized analysis of each noncitizen’s case when deciding on their removal proceedings,” said Peter Alfredson, Senior Attorney at CAIR Coalition. “When the stakes are that high, noncitizens deserve to know that judges are taking their claims seriously—or even looking at their claims at all—and issuing decisions that reflect that responsibility.”

“Immigration judges merely staple these form addenda to a removal order instead of doing their job to analyze each person’s case.” said Adina Appelbaum, Program Director of the Immigration Impact Lab at CAIR Coalition. “We need clearer policies from EOIR so that if judges use these addenda, they will do so in a way that is fair and respectful to the noncitizens whose lives are in their hands.”


Erin Barnaby, CAIR Coalition |

About Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition

Through free legal, social, and litigation services, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) works to ensure equal justice for immigrants in the Capital region who are at risk of detention and deportation.