- New measure to avoid deportation could turn out worse.
- Now immigrants can ask to close their deportation cases.
- However, there are risks to taking this measure.
Now that you can request to close deportation cases, a warning is sent. The measure was recently announced in favor of millions of immigrants, however, the undocumented are asked to be careful when requesting that their cases be closed to avoid deportations.
The announcement by the US Secretary of Justice, Merrick Garland, that once again allows immigration judges to temporarily close removal cases has restored hope to many undocumented immigrants living in the United States, according to Efe.
They ask to think before asking to close their deportation cases
However, lawyers warn of the need for immigrants to evaluate the steps to take in each case. Garland’s recent decision eliminated a policy of the government of now former President Donald Trump against immigrants.
Since 2018, the measure prohibited immigration judges from administratively closing cases, even if the Immigration and Customs Control Service (ICE) was against the judge’s decision to pause the proceedings.
Action to close deportation cases could help thousands
The measure is part of President Joe Biden’s plan to undo the immigration restrictions of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. Plus, it will save immigration judges valuable time and help unblock the backlog of cases.
More than 1.3 million immigrants are waiting for a judge to listen to them, Jeremy McKinney, president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), said in a statement. Although many will benefit, they ask to be careful in requesting to close deportation cases.
Decision to close deportation cases is in the hands of the judges
In this sense, immigration lawyer Lizbeth Mateo told Efe that dozens of the cases that she is currently having in court could benefit from this measure. “At least three of my clients who have a hearing this week could request this consideration from the judge,” he stated.
However, the lawyer warns that the administrative closure is an issue that must be discussed with her clients, and the avenues that exist are explored. It adds that this decision is entirely in the hands of the judge who is hearing the case.
They ask to analyze the alternatives well
“Even if the ICE prosecutor agrees to administratively close, the judge can give a refusal and want to continue with the process,” Lizbeth Mateo told EFE. But before venturing to take this step, Mateo warns that both clients and lawyers should evaluate the decision
If they want to request to close or terminate the case, it must also be analyzed. In this regard, immigration lawyer Fernando Romo, legal advisor to the Association of Salvadorans in Los Angeles (ASOSAL), warned Efe that by “closing” the removal process administratively, the case is temporarily “frozen”.
“The person always runs the risk”
In her own case, Lizbeth Mateo, who was part of the group of dreamers the “Dreamers9” who left the country without permission and returned through the border in 2013, says that she would bet on asking for the removal process against her to be terminated, Efe points out.
“The person always runs the risk that the Government may reopen the process in the future and restart the deportation process,” explained lawyer Fernando Romo. Meanwhile, upon “ending” the removal case before the immigration court, the accusatory document by the federal government is annulled.
They may have to start everything ‘from scratch’
“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is telling the immigration court that it is canceling the removal process against that person,” the legal advisor of the Association of Salvadorans in Los Angeles told Efe.
For her part, Lizbeth Mateo said that “at the end of the case, the federal government must start over the entire removal process from scratch.” The lawyer, born in Mexico, became a target of ICE during the Trump administration, says Efe.
They warn that closing deportation cases could leave them without permission to work
However, Mateo and Romo agree that ending a case is not always in the best interest of an immigrant, especially those who have a work permit while their case is in court. The decision to terminate the case eliminates the possibility of renewing these permits.
That is why the recommendation of both lawyers for immigrants, according to Efe, is to consider all avenues, especially for those with pending petitions before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
“Convictions” keep them on the brink of deportation
For her part, Kate Melloy Goettel, legal director of litigation for the American Immigration Council (AIC), detailed in a statement that Garland’s new measure will have a profound impact on immigrants, and will favor those who seek to “undo criminal convictions.”
Such “convictions” keep them on the verge of deportation or do not allow them to become legal, according to Kate Melloy Goettel. The warning comes after it was announced that immigrants who are fighting their deportation have since July 15 the possibility of requesting the administrative closure of their cases in immigration court.
Judges can now close deportation cases
The above, after the attorney general, Merrick Garland, eliminated a policy of the government of now former President Trump that prohibited immigration judges from temporarily postponing some deportation cases, notes The Associated Press. The judges could not let deportation cases be closed by putting them on hold.
This was known as an administrative closure. Immigration judges say the practice allowed them to handle their case load more efficiently by letting them handle priority cases and that the ban was causing further delays.
Thousands of beneficiaries with deportation cases
The measure comes to benefit an already overloaded immigration court system in which people have to wait years for a hearing, the AP notes. For many immigrants, closing deportation cases in this way was a lifeline protecting them from deportation.
The above, while their requests for legal status were being processed. Criticism of the Trump practice denounced judges allowing people to stay in the country longer than they should, in a kind of legal purgatory, notes The Associated Press.
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