AG Merrick Garland lets judges pause deportation cases in latest Trump reversal

AG Merrick Garland lets judges pause deportation cases in latest Trump reversal


Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that immigration judges can put off hearing deportation cases they deem to be low priority, the latest example of the Biden administration reversing an immigration policy of its predecessor.

Garland’s decision restored the ability of judges to practice a concept called “administrative closure” — removing cases from their docket without declaring them closed. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions put a stop to the practice in 2018, writing that it “lacks a valid legal foundation, and I do not believe it would be appropriate to delegate such authority.”

As a result, Sessions ordered all administratively closed cases to be considered permanently closed unless the Department of Homeland Security or an immigrant requested otherwise.

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Garland said Sessions’ order “departed from long-standing practice,” and added that administrative closure “is plainly within an immigration judge’s authority under Department of Justice regulations.” The AG went on to note that three federal appeals courts had already rejected Sessions’ 2018

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