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Immigration Impact
September 16, 2020

New Data Disproves Trump Administration’s Push to End Administrative Closure
By Aaron Reichlin-Melnick

TRAC’s new report shows that administrative closure has been a vital tool to keeping the immigration court docket from spiraling out of control. So why is the Trump administration trying kill it? One possible reason: immigrants are more likely to win relief when they use administrative closure. According to TRAC, people win the right to remain in the country in 60% of all cases that had been administratively closed and then “re-calendared” and placed back on the court’s docket. Just Administrative closure was also used by the Obama administration as a form of “prosecutorial discretion.” Individuals who were not a priority for deportation could have their court cases suspended indefinitely at the agreement of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This was used quite often from 2012 to 2016, with TRAC’s data showing that fully 24% of all cases which are currently administratively closed having been closed due to prosecutorial discretion.

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