Government attorneys across the country are submitting requests to re-calendar previously administratively closed immigration cases. What does this mean for the immigration court system, and what does this mean for you?
First of all, what is administrative closure? Immigration Judges for decades have administratively closed, or indefinitely postponed cases in Immigration Court. Another form of administrative closure is also called “prosecutorial discretion” or “PD”. This involved the Prosecutor, or the Government Attorney, using their discretion, to administratively close an immigration case. While a case is administratively closed, it is basically sitting on a shelf, waiting for either party to file a motion asking to place it back on the Judge’s calendar.
Cases were previously administratively closed for many reasons, including but not limited to: (1) Individual is a low priority, meaning the individual has either no criminal history or minor criminal history, and significant ties to the United States; (2) Individual has a pending petition with USCIS, whether it be a marriage petition, another I-130 family-based petition, an employment petition, or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status; or (3) Individual is pursuing forms of post-conviction relief.
Recently, after the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Castro-Tum (27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) (holding that immigration judges no longer have the authority to administratively close immigration cases), Government Attorneys began to avidly file motions to place these previously closed cases back on the calendars of Immigration Judges across the country. Statistics show that the amount of cases that are being reactivated is nearly double that of any year during the Obama administration. This alarming turn of events has
Almost immediately preceding this decision by the Attorney General, Immigration Judges were issued a directive implementing case completion quotas. This sent shockwaves through
What does this mean for you? That depends on your individual case. If your case was administratively closed, or you w