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On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland overturned yet another Trump-era decision with major implications for asylum cases. The case, the matter of A-C-A-A-, barred the Board of Immigration Appeals from considering immigration court stipulations that narrow judges’ decision-making abilities. Under matter of A-C-A-A-, the BIA had to to independently review every element of an asylum claim in an appeal, even if certain stipulations of the case had been decided.
“By prohibiting the Board from relying on stipulations or on DHS’s decision not to contest certain elements on appeal, the prior decision departed from longstanding practice,” the attorney general’s decision said. Immigration advocates are hopeful this could reduce the immigration court backlog, which stands at more than 1.3 million pending cases — the most in history, according to the Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
The attorney general’s decision comes just weeks after he vacated the matter of Castro-Tum, which prohibited judges from using administrative closure, in another move that could diminish the court backlog. Last month, the attorney general also vacated two major decisions made by the Trump administration — Matter of L-E-A II and Matter of A-B- — intended to limit protections for asylum seekers. Immigration lawyers are hopeful that the decision will undo years of setbacks for victims of domestic and gang violence. Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio for Documented.
In other federal immigration news…
Biden Releases 21-Point Immigration Plan
The Biden administration released a 21-point plan laying out its full immigration strategy to move asylum cases along quickly and deport those who don’t qualify. NBC News
84 Mayors Demand Immigration Improvements
About 84 mayors from 28 cities wrote a letter calling for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic leaders in Congress to include immigration improvements in a budget package they intend to pass through reconciliation. The Hill