Immigration Law

CA4 Vacates Castro-Tum

Zuniga Romero v. Barr

"After an immigration judge (“IJ”) denied Jesus Zuniga Romero’s request for administrative closure of his case—which would have removed it from the IJ’s active docket pending the completion of a separate immigration proceeding—Romero petitioned the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) for review. Although the BIA initially sustained Romero’s appeal and administratively closed his case, it later dismissed the appeal after a precedential decision issued by the Attorney General in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I. & N. Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018). In Castro-Tum, the Attorney General concluded that IJs and the BIA do not have the general authority to administratively close cases. Romero now brings a petition for review of the BIA’s decision to this Court. For the reasons we discuss below, we grant Romero’s petition for review, vacate the BIA’s decision, and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. ... In sum, the result is that 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.10(b) and 1003.1(d)(1)(ii) unambiguously confer upon IJs and the BIA the general authority to administratively close cases such that the BIA’s decision should be vacated and remanded."

[Hats off to Ben Winograd and Georgeanna Gardner!]