Volume 34
Issue 1
Spring '20

An Analysis of the Applications and Implications of Chevron Deference in Immigration

Written By: Jennifer Safstrom

Abstract

The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA” or “Board”) is part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) within the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ” or “Justice Department”). The BIA, as “the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws,” has “nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals from certain decisions rendered by immigration judges” and certain Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) officers.1 Moreover, “BIA decisions are binding on all DHS officers and immigration judges unless modified or overruled by the Attorney General or a federal court.”2 As an administrative body, the BIA’s decisions are entitled to judicial def-erence under Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, unless the determination is “arbitrary, capricious, or manifestly contrary to the statute.”3 Under the Chevron framework, courts follow a two-step process for determining whether an agency’s decision is entitled to deference…

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