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Federal Immigration Prosecutors Ask to Reactivate Nearly 8,000 Closed or Suspended Deportation Cases

Federal immigration prosecutors have sought to reactivate thousands of closed deportation cases, following a recent court decision by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions that curbed the power of immigration judges to indefinitely suspend cases.

Attorneys with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this fiscal year have asked to restart nearly 8,000 cases that immigration judges had suspended or closed for administrative reasons, according to statistics from the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Those requests totaled about 8,400 in fiscal year 2017, which included four months of the Obama administration. But the pace of the requests has doubled as compared to Obama’s previous two years in office — 3,551 and 4,847 in fiscal years 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to the data first obtained by BuzzFeed News.

An ICE spokeswoman said Friday that the federal agency was seeking to reset cases in which people had been arrested or convicted of a crime, and that it generally reviews cases closed at the discretion of the court to determine whether the suspension was still appropriate.

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