Filed on April 28, 2021, this case before the First Circuit Court of Appeals concerns whether the former Attorney General’s BIA precedent—Matter of Castro-Tum—is consistent with the government’s own regulations.  Through Castro-Tum, the former administration prevented immigration judges from administratively closing removal proceedings -- a procedure that effectively stayed removal proceedings for certain noncitizens.  Administrative closure, which goes back to at least the 1980s, was always used and even encouraged for consideration if immigration judges needed to wait for other government agencies or entities’ input.  For example, prior to Castro-Tum, immigration judges often administratively closed removal proceedings where an immigrant had a pending appeal in a criminal case where the outcome of the appeal was germane to the adjudication of immigration relief.  However, after Castro-Tum, such procedural relief is no longer available, thereby exposing noncitizens to removal, even where they are challenging elsewhere the predicate circumstance that is triggering removal.     


Gilles Bissonnette, ACLU-NH Legal Director, and SangYeob Kim, ACLU-NH Immigration Staff Attorney

Date filed

April 28, 2021


First Circuit Court of Appeals



Case number