Matter of CRUZ-VALDEZ, 28 I&N Dec. 326 (A.G. 2021).

Decided July 15, 2021

In this case, the new Attorney General, Merrick B. Garland, overruled Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) (whereby the old Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, eliminated the court’s ability to administratively close cases).  Therefore, cases can now be administratively closed by the court, and Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688, 692 (BIA 2012) is once again good law.  The court may grant administrative closure if DHS agrees to this as part of prosecutorial discretion or over DHS objection for docket management reasons so that the immigrant can apply for collateral relief.

Given recent developments in prosecutorial discretion whereby DHS has been agreeing to joint motions to dismiss without prejudice, administrative closure may not be the best solution for prosecutorial discretion anymore.  Cases that are administratively closed still remain with the court and must be reopened and dismissed for final case resolution.
However, DHS may ultimately decide it favors administrative closure over joint motions to dismiss.  It will be easier to track and reopen cases if necessary.