This article unveils:
- How to cancel or close your removal proceedings.
- How cancellation of removal and administrative closure affect your rights.
- The role of “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship in cancellation cases.
How Removal Proceedings are Canceled or Closed?
Recent changes to immigration enforcement priorities have made it so that deportation cases are processed on more of a case-by-case basis than under the prior administration. Consequently, lawyers frequently ask ICE for “prosecutorial discretion” to resolve a case.
For example, removal proceedings can be settled through a motion to dismiss. Dismissal can occur on the motion of an immigration officer any time after removal proceedings have commenced.
To do this, you can petition ICE for a favorable exercise of “prosecutorial discretion.” If granted, ICE will move the immigration court to dismiss the case without prejudice. This means they will only seek to recommence removal proceedings if enforcement priorities in general dramatically change or if you specifically do something that makes you an enforcement priority, such as being arrested for committing a crime.
Depending on one’s individual circumstances, administrative closure can often be more ideal than dismissal. This is because administrative closure allows for an indefinite pause of your immigration or deportation case that would only reactivate upon someone filing a motion to recalendar with the court. Whereas dismissal would require an outright new notice to appear and a whole new round of removal proceedings. Administrative closure means your deportation case is technically pending, not terminated. And with this, you can still renew your work permit if based on the appropriate application for relief.
So, for example, if you believe you do not have a strong enough claim to win your case, and thus your green card, dismissal would be better in terms of a long-term defense against removal. But in terms of long-term ability to live a productive life – you need work authorization. Administrative closure is better in this regard because you can still renew your work permit.
What Are Someone’s Legal Rights If Administrative Closure Has Been Granted?
If your deportation case is dismissed, you cannot, of your own volition, recommence removal proceedings to pursue relief that you are eligible for. However, you can still apply for asylum in the future if circumstances in your native country have changed significantly such that a new basis for asylum has manifested since your initial entry into the United States.
This situation does not prevent you from pursuing an alternative path to permanent residency if you have other means to do so. For example, your right to stay in the country would not entirely deteriorate if you are married to an American citizen. You could still file an immediate relative petition allowing you to proceed accordingly once approved.
If your case is administratively closed and you had applied for cancellation of removal, the only time re-calendaring would be worthwhile is if you had a child or other qualifying relative who recently had something horrible happen that has changed the hardship outlook on your case.
You have to establish “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship, which is defined as substantially beyond that which would ordinarily be expected to result from the deportation of a family member. But if your child has just been diagnosed with something like autism or been placed on a very restrictive individualized education plan in school, meeting the hardship burden is certainly feasible, if not likely. Moving to re-calendar is not out of the realm of possibility. Hardship can make or break the cancellation of removal cases.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Deportation Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Deportation Cases in Virginia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (703) 775-1438 today.