As 2022 is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and those who have helped shape our business. Our thoughts turn to those who have made our success possible. We value your relationship and look forward to working with you in the years to come. It is in this spirit that we say thank you and best wishes for the holiday and a Happy New Year!
We are thrilled to introduce our newest Attorney Chris Hammond!
Attorney Hammond is a graduate of the University of Houston and has recently joined The Modi Law Firm, PLLC team! We want to congratulate him on becoming our newest member, and hope he finds his new role as rewarding as we do. We are all working towards a common goal, and believe his contributions are integral to continue to help people in need. Congratulations and welcome aboard!
Does Administrative Closure Apply to your Removal Proceedings case?
There has been a recent change in caselaw that could make it easier for certain immigrants in removal proceedings to have their case administratively closed. Administrative closure is a docket management tool that is used to temporarily pause removal proceedings. Administrative closure of a case will temporarily remove the case from the Immigration Judge’s active calendar or the Board’s docket. While administrative closure does not eliminate the threat of deportation, it can allow immigrants in removal proceedings the opportunity to pursue immigration relief that they could not otherwise pursue. For example, an individual can file Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Status if their case is administratively closed, whereas they would not be able to if they were in removal proceedings.
During the Trump Administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018), in which he held that, with limited exceptions, “immigration judges and the Board do not have the general authority” to administratively close cases. This decision was a departure from years of practice in which the use of administrative closure was employed by immigration judges to allow individuals to pursue relief such as I-601A.
Recently, the Biden Administration has returned the power to administratively close cases to immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals. In Matter of Cruz-Valdez, 28 I&N Dec. 326 (A.G. 2021), Attorney General Garland noted that Matter of Castro-Tum “departed from long-standing practice” by prohibiting administrative closure in the vast majority of circumstances. Attorney General Garland overruled Matter of Castro-Tum and restored administrative closure.
Following Attorney General Garland’s decision in Matter of Cruz-Valdez, the Executive Office for Immigration Review released a memorandum on the use of administrative closure. In the memo, EOIR Director David Neal stated that administrative closure can be employed by immigration judges and the Board in the case of a respondent who is not an immigration enforcement priority, such as an individual who has long-standing ties to the United States and no criminal history. Furthermore, EOIR Director David Neal stated that administrative closure would be appropriate “to file an application or petition with an agency other than EOIR,” such as Form I-601A, as discussed above.
With the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Cruz-Valdez, administrative closure has been restored to immigration judges and the Board. Now, immigrants who are not enforcement priorities, or immigrants who are eligible for relief such as I-601A, can move the immigration court to administratively close their case.
Do you have an immigration question or concern? Are you or a loved one in need of immigration assistance?
If so, feel free to call our office at (832) 422-7789 and schedule a time to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
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