Board of Immigration Appeals

Summary

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is an administrative appellate body within the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States Department of Justice responsible for reviewing decisions of the U.S. immigration courts and certain actions of U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services, U.S Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The BIA was established in 1940 after the Immigration and Naturalization Service was transferred from the United States Department of Labor to the Department of Justice.[2][3]

Board of Immigration Appeals
Seal of the Executive Office for Immigration Review.svg
Seal of the Executive Office for Immigration Review
Agency overview
Formed1940
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersFalls Church, Virginia
Agency executives
  • David Neal[1], Acting EOIR Director
  • David H. Wetmore, Chief Appellate Immigration Judge
Parent agencyExecutive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice
WebsiteBoard of Immigration Appeals

HistoryEdit

1891–1917: Early federal immigration lawsEdit

The Board of Immigration Appeals traces its origins to the Immigration Act of 1891, which was the first comprehensive federal law that governed the immigration system. The Act established an Office of Immigration within the Department of the Treasury, which would be supervised by a Superintendent of Immigration and responsible for handling immigration functions. The Act also laid out an appeals process where immigrants could appeal the Office's decisions to the Superintendent of Immigration.[2]

Two years later, the Immigration Act of 1893 established three-member Boards of Special Inquiry to decide challenges to decisions of the Office of Immigration that deported or excluded an immigrant seeking to enter the United States.[2]

Congress continued to adjust the immigration system over the coming decades. In 1903, Congress moved immigration functions from the Treasury to the newly-created Department of Commerce and Labor. Ten years later, Congress split the Department of Commerce and Labor into a Department of Commerce and a Department of Labor, and assigned responsibility for the immigration system to the latter.[2]

1917–1940: Board of Review, Immigration and Naturalization Service createdEdit

In 1917, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917 that reformed the provisions governing the exclusion and deportation of immigrants.[2]

The Immigration Act of 1921 established a new system of national quotas that limited the number of immigrants from any given country. These reforms significantly increased the number of administrative appeals filed by immigrants and the complexity of each case. The Secretary of Labor established a Board of Review to handle the increased caseload and recommend decisions.[2]

In 1933, Executive Order 6166 centralized all immigration functions within a new Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Department of Labor.[4]

1940–1983: Board of Immigration Appeals createdEdit

In 1940, President Roosevelt moved the INS to the Department of Justice. The Attorney General replaced the Board of Review with a new Board of Immigration Appeals authorized to decide appeals itself, instead of recommending decisions. The BIA was given significant independence and remains responsible solely to the Attorney General.[5]

In 1952, Congress replaced the complex network of immigration laws with a single statute, titled the Immigration and Nationality Act. Among other things, the statue eliminated the archaic Special Inquiry Boards and gave responsibility for reviewing deportation cases to new special inquiry officers. The role of special inquiry officers was further formalized in 1973, when a new regulation renamed them "immigration judges" and granted them the power to wear judicial robes.[2][6]

1983–present: Executive Office for Immigration Review created and other reformsEdit

In 1983, the Attorney General established the Executive Office for Immigration Review to administer the immigration courts. Immigration judges and the BIA were moved to the EOIR. A new Office of the Chief Immigration Judge was established to supervise the work of immigration judges and immigration courts. The BIA retained its power to decide immigration appeals and establish precedents.[7][8]

Congress passed significant immigration reforms over the next few years. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and related regulations gave EOIR authority to decide cases related to immigration-related employment issues.[9] The Immigration Act of 1990 expanded EOIR's powers to review cases of "document abuse," or misuse of documentation to prove employment eligibility. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 replaced deportation proceedings and exclusion proceedings with "removal proceedings" and simplified procedures.[7]

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 further clarified EOIR's powers by formally separating it from the INS and codifying the Attorney General's supervisory authority. The Act also abolished the INS and transferred its functions to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security.[7]

JurisdictionEdit

The BIA reviews the decisions of the U.S. immigration courts, some decisions of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and immigration violation arrests by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. BIA decisions are the final administrative action in a given case, and the next stage of appeal after a BIA decision is usually in the United States courts of appeals if an appeal is allowed by statute.

Most opinions of the BIA are unpublished and do not apply outside of the cases in which they were issued.[10] However, a limited number of BIA decisions are selected for publication in the Administrative Decisions under the Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States.[11] There are currently 28 volumes of administrative precedent decisions under the Immigration and Nationality laws encompassing decisions dating back to 1940.[12] BIA precedent decisions are legally binding on all components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A precedent decision may be overruled by a published decision of the Attorney General, by a Federal court, by a subsequent BIA precedent decision, or by a change in the law.

The BIA is notable in that one need not be an attorney to appear before it representing a client. However, non-attorneys must be part of a BIA-recognized organization (generally a nonprofit), and also have obtained BIA accreditation as individuals. A practice manual[13] for appearing before the BIA is available from the U.S. Department of Justice.

CompositionEdit

The BIA is located in Falls Church, Virginia, and, as of February 2021, has 23 board members, who are administrative judges appointed by the U.S. Attorney General, and six temporary members.[14] The size of the full BIA varies from time to time, depending on resignations, retirements, and new appointments; it may have up to 23 board members under the current authorizing regulation.[15] Decisions issued by the BIA are by three-member panels in limited circumstances.[16] Otherwise, the vast majority of cases are decided by single panel members.[17] In certain circumstances, a single panel member can use a process called summary affirmance to affirm the lower court without issuing a written decision.[18]

Current membersEdit

As of November 5, 2021:[14]

Title Name Term began Appointed by
Chief Appellate Immigration Judge David H. Wetmore May 2020 William Barr
Deputy Chief Appellate Immigration Judge Charles Adkins-Blanch January 2013 Eric Holder
Deputy Chief Appellate Immigration Judge Garry D. Malphrus September 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Michael P. Baird August 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge William A. Cassidy August 2019 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge V. Stuart Couch August 2019 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy February 2011 Eric Holder
Appellate Immigration Judge Deborah K. Goodwin August 2019 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Stephanie E. Gorman August 2019 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Edward R. Grant January 1998 Janet Reno
Appellate Immigration Judge Anne J. Greer August 2008 Michael Mukasey
Appellate Immigration Judge Keith E. Hunsucker August 2019 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Ellen Liebowitz February 2016 Loretta Lynch
Appellate Immigration Judge Sunita B. Mahtabfar August 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Ana Landazabal Mann November 2011 Eric Holder
Appellate Immigration Judge Philip J. Montante, Jr. April 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Hugh Mullane August 2008 Michael Mukasey
Appellate Immigration Judge Blair O'Connor February 2016 Loretta Lynch
Appellate Immigration Judge Sirce E. Owen August 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Aaron R. Petty April 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Kevin W. Riley April 2020 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Earle B. Wilson August 2019 William Barr
Appellate Immigration Judge Andrea Saenz October 2021 Merrick Garland
Temporary Appellate Immigration Judge Denise G. Brown July 2021 Merrick Garland
Temporary Appellate Immigration Judge Lisa de Cardona May 2021 Merrick Garland
Temporary Appellate Immigration Judge Gabriel Gonzalez January 2021 Jeffrey Rosen
Temporary Appellate Immigration Judge Beth Liebmann January 2021 Jeffrey Rosen

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Meet the Director". www.justice.gov. 2017-05-30. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g United States Department of Justice (2015-01-13). "Evolution of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Pre-1983". www.justice.gov. Archived from the original on 2021-01-23. Retrieved 2021-02-05.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ United States Department of Justice (September 4, 1940). "5 Fed Reg 3502" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 9, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  4. ^ "Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service [INS]". National Archives. 2016-08-15. Archived from the original on 2021-01-26. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  5. ^ United States Department of Justice (September 4, 1940). "5 Fed. Reg. 3502" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 9, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. ^ United States Department of Justice (April 4, 1973). "Fed. Reg. 8590" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c United States Department of Justice (2015-01-13). "Evolution of the Executive Office of Immigration Review, Post-1983". www.justice.gov. Archived from the original on 2021-01-23. Retrieved 2021-02-25.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ United States Department of Justice (February 25, 1983). "48 Fed. Reg. 8038" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  9. ^ United States Department of Justice (November 24, 1987). "52 Fed. Reg. 44971" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 9, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  10. ^ "AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION COMMISSION ON IMMIGRATION REPORT TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-04-13. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  11. ^ "Precedent Decisions". USCIS. Archived from the original on 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  12. ^ "Comprehensive List of Articles on Attorney General and BIA Precedent Decisions | myattorneyusa". myattorneyusa.com. Archived from the original on 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  13. ^ "Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual". 13 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 July 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  14. ^ a b "Board of Immigration Appeals". www.justice.gov. 2015-01-13. Archived from the original on 2020-12-27. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  15. ^ "eCFR :: Title 8". ecfr.federalregister.gov. Archived from the original on 2020-12-29. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  16. ^ 8 CFR 1003.1
  17. ^ 8 CFR 1003.1
  18. ^ 8 CFR 1003.1; Fact Sheet: BIA Restructuring and Streamlining Procedures Archived January 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine; Fact Sheet: EOIR’s Improvement Measures –– Progress Overview Archived 2013-06-01 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

  • Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review
  • List of Free Legal Service Providers provided by the U.S. Department of Justice