Ronn Blitzer, Fox News, July 15, 2021
Attorney General Merrick Garland issued an opinion Thursday recognizing the ability of immigration judges to administratively close a removal proceeding, which effectively removes a deportation case from the docket without technically disposing of the case.
The opinion overturned a previous one from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a case known as the Matter of Castro-Tum, where Sessions held that there was no legal authority to administratively close such a case, as had previously been done. The Justice Department, in December 2020, issued a rule reflecting that position, but that was soon blocked on the grounds that it did not follow the rule-making process set by the Administrative Procedure Act.
Administrative closure, Garland argued, 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.