Attorney General's Concerted Effort to Strip Immigration Judges of Judicial Independence Continu

Consistent with Matter of Castro-Tum, the Attorney General affirmed the BIA's decision Matter of S-O-G- and vacated the BIA's decision in Matter of F-D-B- and remanded to IJ for further proceedings. Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 462 (A.G. 2018).

(1) Consistent with Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018), immigration judges have no inherent authority to terminate or dismiss removal proceedings.

(2) Immigration judges may dismiss or terminate removal proceedings only under the circumstances expressly identified in the regulations, see 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(c), (f), or where the Department of Homeland Security fails to sustain the charges of removability against a respondent, see 8 C.F.R. § 1240.12(c).

(3) An immigration judge’s general authority to “take any other action consistent with applicable law and regulations as may be appropriate,” 8 C.F.R. § 1240.1(a)(1)(iv), does not provide any additional authority to terminate or dismiss removal proceedings beyond those authorities expressly set out in the relevant regulations.

(4) To avoid confusion, immigration judges and the Board should recognize and maintain the distinction between a dismissal under 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(c) and a termination under 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(f).

AILA Doc. No. 18091970