Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Boston University International Law Journal
June 2018

The Dangers of Streamlining Immigration: Why Federal Courts of Appeal Should Have Jurisdiction to Review BIA Streamlining Decisions
By David Giza

When an immigration case is appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"}-the administrative agency charged with reviewing appealed immigration cases-an important decision occurs: should the process be "streamlined" with sole review by a single-member screening panel, or should the single member refer the case to a three-member panel for full review? This "streamlining" process, whereby a case on review is assigned to a single-member screening panel, may not initially appear harmful to an immigrant, and may even look to carry some administrativebenefits such as lightening case loads and leading to speedier dispositions. However, at least. in asylum cases, the difference between being assigned to a single-member and a three-member panel on appeal is significant, with seven percent of single-member decisions favoring the alien compared to fifty-two percent of three-member panel decisions favoring the alien. Inother words, whether an asylum seeker's appeal is assigned to a single member or a three-member panel makes a large difference in the outcome of the appeal. This discrepancy is exacerbated by the variance in decisions among Immigration Judges ("Js").......[citing TRAC research].

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