Call Us Today: 202-787-1944

Immigration News
Changes in immigration that impact your life.

Home  >  Immigration News  >  News Archive  >  Other Departments  >  News Article

News Jump: 

EOIR fact sheet on BIA streamlining
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts
BIA Streamlining

On August 23, 2002, the Attorney General issued a Final Rule that restructured the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board). The rule revised the organization and procedures of the Board to enable it to reduce delays in the administrative review process, eliminate the existing backlog of cases, and focus more attention and resources on those cases presenting significant issues for resolution. The following summarizes the status of this initiative to date.

The restructuring regulation has been successfully implemented and has allowed the Board to allocate its limited resources to adjudicate the more than 40,000 new appeals and other matters filed annually. The regulation was designed to address extensive backlogs and lengthy delays, which encouraged abuse and delayed decisions to aliens who merited relief from deportation. The pending caseload has been steadily reduced from 56,000 when the restructuring initiative was announced to approximately 32,000 by September 2004.

The regulation expanded the existing streamlined procedures to resolve more cases with single Board Member decisions. Under the restructuring regulation, all cases are adjudicated by a single Board Member unless they fall into one of six specified categories, which are handled by a panel of three Board Members. A single Board Member decision can be quite detailed, while many three Board Member cases can be short and straightforward. Furthermore, the regulation mandates the use of summary affirmances (or affirmances without opinion (AWO) as they are also known) in certain instances. Only about one-third of the Board’s decisions fall into the category of AWO.

Federal courts have rejected every challenge brought against the restructuring regulation. Each circuit has issued a decision holding that the regulation is permissible and does not violate due process. In fact, most, if not all, of the courts where challenges were filed employ similar summary affirmance mechanisms in the interest of efficient, yet effective jurisprudence.

Appeals to the Federal Circuit Courts

It is the rate of appeal (up from an historical 5 percent to close to 25 percent) that primarily accounts for the upsurge in petitions for review in the Federal circuit courts. For example, monthly petitions for review previously numbered about 125, but now range from 1,000 to 1,200 since the new procedures have taken effect. The Board’s increased case completions account for a rise of about 200, and the remaining 800 to 1,000 new filings are due solely to the higher percentage of cases appealed.

Following implementation of the new regulation, the increase in the rate of appeals from Board decisions was attributable, in large measure, to challenges to the restructuring regulation. However, new petitions for review have not dropped off despite the courts’ rejection of challenges to the regulation. There is no evidence that the affirmance and reversal/remand rates of BIA decisions has changed significantly in the wake of the restructuring regulation. This indicates that the quality of the Board’s jurisprudence has remained consistent and unaffected by its increased use of AWOs and single Board Member review as required by the regulation.

A factor which may be contributing to the rise in the rate of appeals is the reduced time involved in completing cases appealed to the Board. Thus, for those aliens who wish to postpone deportation, filing an appeal to the circuit courts may be a much more attractive option than in the past. To the extent that the courts are routinely granting stays of deportation pending their review, the incentive to file an appeal and to request a stay will be high.

Because only the alien, and not the Government, may appeal adverse decisions to the Federal courts, the courts never see cases where an alien has been granted relief.

Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts

Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Reaches Agreement with Massachusetts Staffing Agency
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Reaches Agreement with Michigan-based Staffing Company
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Settles Claim Against Employment Group
Immigration-Related Discrimination: DOJ Settles Claim Against Property Management Company
More >>

Premium Processing Now Available For H-1B Cap 2018 Petitions
US Embassy in Moscow Suspends Nonimmigrant Visa Processing
Premium Processing Now Available For Certain Cap-Exempt H1B Petitions
Visa Bulletin June 2017: EB-1 China and EB-1 India Retrogress; EB-2 Advances Marginally for China and India
More >>

News Jump: 

U.S. Immigration Attorney - Consult Now!

Immigration Services
  Fast, Easy and Economical Avoid Costly Immigration Errors!
Immigration Guide
 Know Your U.S. Immigration Options
Immigration Law FAQ
 Detailed Answers to Your Immigration Questions
Immigration Articles
  Interesting and Useful Articles on a Variety of Relevant Topics

How can we help you?
Receive latest immigration updates and free legal tips by e-mail. Sign up now!
Legal terms explained in plain English!
H1B Address Change of Work Locations: When Do You Have To File H1B Amended Petitions?
H1B Visa Lottery 2017: Improving Your Odds of Success
H1B Visa Cap 2017: Things You Must Know
Filing H1B Cap 2018 Petitions:How To Get A Head Start With VisaPro’s H1B Visa 2018 Timeline
H1B Cap Exempt Employers: How Do You Find Out If You Qualify?
H-1B Cap Has Reached:How Do You Hire H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?
2018 H1B Cap Petitions:How To Properly File With USCIS
H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?
5 Common H1B Cap 2018 Filing Mistakes - How to Avoid Them
H1B Cap 2018 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?
More Articles...

Get a detailed, written opinion online in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration attorney.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys - Consult Online or By Telephone

Alerts & Newsletter
Create and Manage your
e-mail alerts for FREE.