A legal fiction underpinning administrative law, the Chevron Doctrine, is that federal agencies are best suited to interpreting federal statutes and thus agency decisions interpreting the laws they administer are afforded a great deal of deference. The doctrine, derived from Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, an environmental law case. The Chevron decision held that federal environmental agencies are better able to interpret environmental laws than federal courts and thus their decisions deserve great deference. The Chevron doctrine applies to immigration law and assumes that the Board of Immigration Appeals is best able to interpret immigration law. Then, along comes a case like a case the BIA published on April 12, 2012, Matter of D-K-, that puts seriously in doubt the fiction that the BIA knows what it is doing. (more…)
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