Attorney General Expands Immigration Judges’ Authority

He says that judges can put deportation proceedings on indefinite hold.

In an opinion issued Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland recognized the ability of immigration judges to administratively close a deportation proceeding, which effectively removes the case from the docket without technically disposing of the case. His opinion overturned a prior one from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that held that there was no legal authority to administratively close such a case, as had previously been done. 

In December 2020, the Justice Department issued a rule reflecting that position but that was soon blocked on the grounds that it did not allow the rule-making process set by the Administrative Procedure Act.

Attorney General Garland said administrative closure allows for greater flexibility in case management by allowing for cases to be put on hold so that they can more fully focus on other cases.

The current backlog in immigration cases has some people waiting years for their cases to be heard in court.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For immigration judges and the heavy dockets they have as people await hearings on their immigration status.
  • For the Department of Justice as the use of administrative closure is offered as a means of avoiding potentially difficult cases by immigration judges.
  • For all three branches of the federal government as the need for immigration reform is considered.

Sources: Fox News, The Hill


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