We received a new unpublished decision today from the BIA administratively closing an asylum appeal because, according to the Board, our client is now eligible for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”). We were already aware he was eligible for TPS and already started the process. But the deadline for filing was October 29th, so why is the BIA administratively closing it now? What if my client had been appealing this case without the help of an attorney and didn’t know he had become eligible for TPS in May, 2012 but needed to apply by October 29th? The Board’s closure decision itself would have been of no help to him, because it would have already been too late to apply for TPS, unless he qualified for late initial registration. We appreciate the Department of Justice’s decision to close cases that don’t need to be fought so vigorously, but it’s bizarre that the Board is only now closing this case. We’ve also never seen the BIA administratively close a case when neither party asked for that. We actually were quite fond of our asylum appeal and would like a ruling on it, but TPS is a good alternative (and is better than a denial).
I am a Kansas City immigration attorney. I represent immigrants in court, on appeal, and before the USCIS in visa applications, asylum, and naturalization.