Last time I discussed the situations where an immigrant in removal proceedings could seek to terminate proceedings to avoid removal from the United States. Today I will discuss motions to administratively close proceedings.
While a successful motion to terminate removal proceedings usually removes an alien from jeopardy of deportation, a successful motion to administratively close proceedings simply pauses a removal case indefinitely. However, the outcome is the same as a motion to terminate, you are no longer in imminent danger of being ordered removed from the United States.
While administratively closing removal proceedings pauses your case indefinitely, at any time you or the Government can ask the Court to put your case back in front of the Immigration Judge.
Administrative Closure is a product of prosecutorial discretion, and typically an Immigration Judge will not grant administrative closure unless both the Government and immigrant agree.
There are many reasons why the Government and an immigrant would want to administratively close removal proceedings. One of the primary reasons to seek administrative closure is when an immigrant asks the Government for Prosecutorial Discretion or “PD.” This usually happens when an immigrant has no relief from removal to allow them to stay in the U.S., or a weak claim for relief that may fail. The immigrant can ask the government to give them PD and administratively close proceedings so the immigrant is no longer facing removal or deportation.
There are many other reasons why an immigrant would want to administratively close proceedings. These include when the immigrant has an I-130, I-485, I-360, U-Visa, T-Visa, I-730, I-751 or other petition or benefit application pending before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (another agency within the U.S. Government). Many times the Immigration Court will administratively close a case like this while these applications or petitions are pending and when they are approved or denied, either party can put the case back before the Court.
If you filed for or received DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) you can administratively close your removal case and avoid an order of removal. The same applies to people who apply for or receive TPS (Temporary Protected Status). Spouses, Children or Parents of U.S. Citizens who have a pending or approved I-130 and will need to seek an I-601A Unlawful Presence Waiver (or State-Side Waiver) will need to administratively close proceedings while they file for the waiver. As you can see, there are many reasons why an immigrant in removal proceedings may want to pause or administratively close their removal proceedings.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon (SLG) can help you if you are in removal or deportation proceedings. We can review your case to see if you are eligible for any forms of relief from removal that would allow you to stay in the United States, get a green card or U.S. citizenship. Call us today for a free consultation. (407) 228-2019 or (904) 642-3332.