American Immigration Council Condemns Attorney General’s Decision Restricting Immigration Judges’ Authority

May 17, 2018

Washington D.C. - Late today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions unilaterally removed immigration judges’ general authority to administratively close cases. Administrative closure is an important mechanism that helps overburdened immigration judges control their caseloads by allowing them to temporarily remove a case from an immigration court docket. Judges are then able to prioritize hearings in some cases and pause proceedings for individuals who are awaiting the resolution of other matters relevant to their immigration cases. Ending the use of administrative closure will have far-reaching consequences for those in removal proceedings, including adding tens of thousands of cases to an already over-burdened immigration court system.

The following is a statement from Trina Realmuto, an attorney with the American Immigration Council.

“The Attorney General’s decision ignores the often life-changing consequences of immigration proceedings and denies immigration judges the opportunity to make measured decisions consistent with due process. Despite broad grants of authority to immigration judges to manage their own dockets that have been upheld by the federal courts, Sessions claims that judges lack authority for administrative closure, distorting the law to suit his own purposes. The decision is bad law, bad policy, and harmful to immigrants and their communities -- consistent with Sessions’ previous statements as both a senator and attorney general that demonstrated his anti-immigrant animus.”


For press inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at [email protected] or 202-812-2499



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