Is an individual whose case was administratively closed under Morton memo eligible to renew employment authorization?

Is an individual whose case was administratively closed under Morton memo eligible to renew employment authorization (as initially promised by the government)? The original employment authorization was issued based on an affirmative asylum application. Is asylum application considered pending after case is administratively closed?

Flushing, NY -

Attorney Answers (4)

Alexander Joseph Segal

Alexander Joseph Segal

Immigration Attorney - New York, NY

Yes and Yes; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell:... more
Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Immigration Attorney - Denver, CO

As you appear to recognize, when a case is administratively closed, it remains "pending" with the immigration court, although the scheduling of future hearings is suspended indefinitely.

Which means that any application you filed with the immigration court remains technically pending if and when your case is administratively closed.

If you have a pending application for relief before the immigration court that supports an application for a work permit, then you will continue to be eligibile to apply for renewals of that work permit while your case is in a period of administrative closure.

Conversely, if your case was administratively closed before you had submitted any relief applications, then you would have no basis on which to apply for work authorization.

So, the mere fact that a case was administratively closed does not give an individual a basis to apply for work authorization. But a pending relief application that supports a work permit will continue to do so during the period of administrative closure.

So, in your case, if you were able to get an EAD in the past based on your affirmative asyum application, AND you notified the immigration court of your plan to renew that application in proceedings prior to your case being administratively closed, then you should remain eligible to renew that work authorization until there is a final decision on the asylum application.

Make sense?

Dean P Murray

Dean P Murray

Immigration Attorney - Hoboken, NJ

Why not have a consultation with a lawyer about this matter? You will benefit enormously from obtaining professional assistance. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
(Office located within minutes of the George Washington Bridge)
T: (201)875-2600
F: (201)549-8700

Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely... more
Richard Scott Roth-Sterger

Richard Scott Roth-Sterger

Immigration Attorney - San Diego, CA

The "Morton Memos" refer to directions given DHS attorneys in use of its prosecutorial discretion. The memos primarily reiterate prior guidance on the use of resources. The choice of DHS to close a file on a case does nothing in the way of granting legal status to seek work authorization.

I would consult an immigration attorney to determine the current status of your asylum petition.
(858) 707-5562

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