Representing Noncitizens with Mental Illness

Last Updated

May 12, 2020

Mental illness can impede a noncitizen’s ability to obtain due process protections and meaningfully present their case in immigration court, but practitioners have many tools available to them to provide effective representation to noncitizens living with mental illnesses. This practice advisory provides an overview of the legal protections available to mentally ill noncitizens facing removal proceedings under section 240 of the INA, as well as to those facing expedited removal, reinstatement and administrative removal proceedings. The practice advisory also addresses some of the practical challenges in working with noncitizens with mental illness.

Accompanying this practice advisory are sample materials provided by practitioners that may be useful in representing a noncitizen with mental illness.

Motions for Safeguards

  • Respondent’s Motion for Safeguards provided by Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
  • Respondent’s Motion to Terminate or in the Alternative for Appropriate Safeguards Provided by Brooklyn Defender Services Based on NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic Template

Motions to Reopen based on Mental Competency Issues

  • CLINIC Respondent’s Motion to Reopen and for a Stay of Removal Mental Illness- Redacted

IJ Decision Ordering Termination

  • IJ Decision Ordering Termination for Failure to Prove Alienage provided by Immigrant Legal Defense