Motions for Telephonic/VTC Appearance FOIA Request

Last Updated

October 2, 2019

An immigration judge may conduct removal hearings in person, by video conference, or by telephone conference. See INA § 240(b)(2), 8 C.F.R. § 1003.25(c). Increasingly, immigration practitioners, pro se respondents, and government attorneys have submitted motions to appear in court telephonically or via video themselves, to permit the respondent to appear in court telephonically or through video, or to allow witnesses to testify in court through either of these means.

In December 2018, CLINIC submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) seeking statistics on immigration court adjudications of motions for telephonic and video appearances of attorneys, respondents, and witnesses. In April 2019, EOIR responded with a ten-tab spreadsheet breaking down adjudication of motions for telephonic appearance by court from fiscal year (FY) 2012 through FY2018 and adjudications of motions for video appearance by court for FY2018 only. From the FOIA results, CLINIC created a separate document, identical to the first, but incorporating percentages from the raw numbers to ease analysis.


  • FOIA Request to DOJ EOIR for Records Regarding Telephonic and Video Participation in Immigration Court Hearings
  • Cover Letter from DOJ EOIR in Response to FOIA Request
  • EOIR Disclosures
  • EOIR Disclosures with CLINIC’s Percentage Assessment
  • Key Takeaways from Freedom of Information Act Request on Immigration Court Adjudication of Motions for Telephonic or Video Appearance