Buzzfeed reportsICE attorneys requested the reactivation of almost 8,000 deportation cases this fiscal year that immigration judges had suspended, i.e., removed from the court docket. There were close to 8,400 related requests during the previous fiscal year, which included several months of Obama administration control. Responding to the report, ICE said it was trying to restart cases in which illegal aliens had subsequently been convicted or arrested for a crime.
Buzzfeed obtained data from the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review that revealed the number of reopening requests over time. The Obama Administration also had requested case restarts but the number sought under the Trump administration is almost double that rate. The change reflects the differing prosecutorial discretion priorities of the two administrations. ICE is now reviewing all closed cases to determine if the reasons for closure are still valid.
Under the Obama administration, immigration judges used administrative closure to indefinitely delay over 355,000 removal cases. In May 2018 Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed immigration judges to stop delaying removal cases for illegal aliens through administrative closure. He said the practice “resulted in illegal aliens remaining indefinitely in the United States without any formal legal status.”
Read more in BuzzFeed.