New Data Disproves Trump Administration’s Push to End Administrative Closure
The Trump administration’s justification for ending administrative closure is on thin ice. A new report casts doubt on key arguments presented in a proposed regulation that would end the practice of administrative closure. This tool allows immigration judges to temporarily suspend a hearing by taking it off of the court’s active docket.
Administrative closure has been used in the immigration courts since the 1980s. When a case is administratively closed, it remains entirely off the court’s active docket so that no hearings on the case are scheduled. The case will then remain suspended until either the government or the immigrant file a motion to return the case to the docket.
This tool is used most often when a person is seeking a form of relief that can only be granted outside of immigration court, such as an application or petition adjudicated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. For example, people who were in removal proceedings but were eligible for DACA typically had their cases administratively closed.
Administrative closure makes the court process more efficient in certain circumstances, such as when a person will become eligible for relief in the near future, or a different court has to decide an issue before the immigration court can make its own decision. By administratively closing the case, the immigrant doesn’t have to keep coming back to court to check in.