Holder vacates Mukasey immigration order

June 3, 2009 at 3:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he will initiate new rule-making proceedings on immigration removal procedures, turning aside his predecessor's ruling.

The new rule-making process means former Attorney General Michael Mukasey's order in the case, Matter of Campean, governing claims of ineffective counsel in removal hearings, will be vacated, Holder said Wednesday in a news release.

"The integrity of immigration proceedings depends in part on the ability to assert claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and the Department of Justice's rule-making in this area will be fair, it will be transparent, and it will be guided by our commitment to the rule of law," Holder said.

In January, Mukasey issued an order in Matter of Compean overturning Board of Immigration Appeals precedent and procedures governing assistance of counsel in removal proceedings. The order limited the ability of aliens to claim ineffective counsel in immigration proceedings, and did so without public input that a notice-and-comment rule-making procedure would have provided, Holder said.

Vacating Mukasey's order means Holder restored the procedures governing removal proceedings that were in place before the order order.

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