About this Blog

It is absolutely necessary for immigration lawyers, like all lawyers, to keep up with changes and developments in case law. For immigration lawyers, the challenge is even greater because there is an ever-changing and complex interplay of state, federal, constitutional, and administrative law that governs our practice. I have found that there is no substitute for reading opinions issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals and federal appellate courts to understand exactly where the law is at any moment. I was surprised to find that there is no central place on the web that routinely reports and summarizes these important cases. The point of this blog is to report the key holdings of every precedent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, or the Board of Immigration Appeals, so immigration practitioners have a convenient, one-stop place to keep abreast of important developments in immigration case law.

A few notes on my plan for this blog. First, I started this blog on January 1, 2015. Any opinions issued before that date would not appear.

Second, I have decided to report specifically on cases that have precedential value for immigration practitioners involved in removal, asylum, or family-based cases, which means all opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, and the BIA. It does not routinely report on district court opinions, administrative law opinions outside the BIA, such as OCAHO, immigration judge decisions, state court decisions, or non-precedential opinions issued by the BIA. It does include published “non-precedential” decisions from federal appellate courts because these are typically treated as precedent even if designated by the court otherwise. This is arguably both under-inclusive and over-inclusive. On the one hand, important decisions that bear on immigration law can and do come from the courts not covered. On the other hand, appellate decisions are not precedent outside of that court’s jurisdiction. That said, I believe for the typical practitioner, this blog would cover the vast majority of the cases he would need to know about to be effective and up-to-date on the state of the law.

Third, within those categories — the U.S. Supreme Court, all federal appellate court, and BIA precedent opinions — this blog intends to cover every opinion that is issued. That is, I will not make judgments on how important or unimportant a particular case is in deciding whether to cover it. I do this for a few reasons. First, an opinion that might not seem important at first could end up being important. Second, I want readers to feel they can rely on hearing about all opinions that are issued, without fear that an important decision is being left out due to a judgment (or misjudgment) on my part. The best solution is to simply report all decisions, and let the reader decide whether to skip a decision that seems unimportant to him or her.

The point of this blog is to provide immigration lawyers and others an easy, one-stop destination to learn about developments in case law. This blog is a work in progress, and I appreciate any comments or suggestions for ways to improve it.

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