The Attorney General has determined that an Immigration Judge has no authority to terminate proceedings except as expressly authorized by the regulations or when the Department of Homeland Security has failed to meet its burden to prove removability.

“As relevant here, on motion by DHS, an immigration judge may dismiss the proceedings where ‘the Notice to Appear was improvidently issued’ or the ‘circumstances of the case have changed after the Notice to Appear was issued to such an extent that continuation is no longer in the best interest of the government.’” 8 C.F.R. §§ 239.2(a)(6)−(7), 1239.2(c). The regulations also allow immigration judges to terminate removal proceedings ‘to permit the alien to proceed to a final hearing on a pending application or petition for naturalization when the alien has established prima facie eligibility for naturalization and the matter involves exceptionally appealing or humanitarian factors,’ but provide that, ‘in every other case, the removal hearing shall be completed as promptly as possible.’” 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(f). “Apart from these circumstances, the relevant statutes and regulations do not give immigration judges the discretionary authority to dismiss or terminate removal proceedings after those proceedings have begun.”

In a footnote, the Attorney General noted that “[t]his decision does not foreclose respondents, in appropriate circumstances, from requesting that DHS file an unopposed motion to dismiss proceedings under 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(c).”

The full text of Matter of S-O-G- and Matter of F-D-B- can be found here: