The Justice Department announced overnight that it’s closing an additional 10 immigration courts, spread out across the country, through April 10 as the novel coronavirus has spread to all 50 states.

It is also postponing all hearings of cases of immigrants who are not in detention. Immigration courts also paused those hearings last year during the US government shutdown.

Government agencies, businesses, and organizations have changed their daily operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, requiring employees to stay home and closing offices to the public. Despite administration guidelines to decrease the number of people at gatherings, immigration courts stayed open.

On Tuesday, for example, the San Francisco immigration court was open, despite a shelter-in-place order in the area.

Some context: The Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Justice Department agency that oversees the nation’s immigration courts, has made incremental changes to court operations in recent days, often late at night, frustrating immigration judges and lawyers who have urged the agency to close courts altogether. 

Source: CNN News

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