The Supreme Court’s decision in Dada v. Mukasey, No. 06-1181, 554 U.S. ___ (June 16,
2008), addresses the interplay between the voluntary departure provision, INA § 240B,
and the motion to reopen provision, INA § 240(c)(7).
The INA permits a person to file a motion to reopen within 90 days of the final administrative order of removal. However, individuals with voluntary departure usually must depart within 30 or 60 days or risk being ineligible for suspension of deportation, adjustment of status, change of status, registry, and voluntary departure for ten years. Additionally, after a person departs, the
government deems a motion to reopen withdrawn. Because the government generally
does not adjudicate motions to reopen before the voluntary departure period expires,
individuals granted voluntary departure who then become eligible for relief following the
final order may have no means to pursue this relief.
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