Today’s NPR Morning Edition reported on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempt to reshape the nation’s immigration courts and speed up the deportation process. Sessions has spoken out against the ability of immigration judges to use a procedure called “administrative closure” to put certain cases on hold to allow individuals to pursue other applications for immigration benefits outside the court system. If Sessions limits the discretion of immigration judges to grant administrative closure when appropriate, thousands of individuals could be deported while awaiting a decision on visa applications or other relief for which they are eligible. Sessions is also considering imposing limits on when judges can grant continuances and redefining who qualifies for asylum in the U.S. These changes are likely to threaten the due process rights of immigrants and the ability of the immigration courts to function in an independent and impartial manner.
If you have questions about your immigration status or a pending matter before the immigration courts, contact HSPRD.