Topic Indexes

Comprehensive List of Articles on Attorney General and BIA Precedent Decisions

Attorney General and Board of Immigration Appeals administrative precedent decisions play an important role in our system of immigration laws. The first precedent decision, Matter of L, 1 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 1940), was published on August 29, 1940. Nearly 77 years of precedent decisions are now collected in 27 volumes. Here at, we have a growing collection of dedicated articles on published decisions, including every decision going back to the middle of 2015. In this post, we will keep a running list of all of our dedicated articles on precedent decisions. The decisions are organized by topic with short descriptions and links to the associated articles.

Different Types of AAO Decisions

The highest administrative review body in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The AAO has jurisdiction to review many types of appeals of denials of USCIS benefit requests. In this article, we will examine the different types of decisions that the AAO can issue.

Series of Articles on Determining Divisibility and the Matter of Chairez

On September 28, 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued an important precedent decision titled the Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 2016) (“Chairez III”). The Board set forth new rules for determining when a criminal statute may be considered “divisible” for purposes of applying the modified categorical approach that are in accord with the Supreme Court decisions in Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 and Mathis v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). On April 24, 2017, the Board clarified when adjudicators may look at an alien’s record of conviction when employing the categorical approach in the Matter of Chairez, 27 I&N Dec. 21 (BIA 2017) (“Chairez IV”). In this post, I examine the decision, the history of the case, and provide links to our detailed articles on the issues.

Overview of Two Kelly Memoranda on Implementing President Trump's Executive Orders

On February 20, 2017, the Secretary of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, issued two Memoranda that provide Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers with authoritative guidance on the implementation of two immigration Executive Orders (EOs) issued by President Donald Trump on January 25, 2017. The Memoranda provide clarification on how the DHS will put President Trump’s immigration orders into practical effect. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the Memoranda and the related EOs. In the final section of the article, we will provide a list of links to our comprehensive articles covering the key points of each Memorandum relating to new immigration policies.

Introduction to Series of Articles on "Economic Persecution" Decisions

In order to qualify for asylum, an alien must have been persecuted or have a reasonable fear of persecution in his or her home country on one of five protected grounds. In order for an alien to qualify for withholding of removal, his or her life or freedom must be threatened in his or her home country on one of the same five protected grounds. One way in which an alien may be “persecuted” is through “economic deprivation.” In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the different standards on for economic persecution and then provide links to our full articles examining specific Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and Federal appellate court decisions.

2016 in Review - Administrative Precedent Decisions (Part 1)

2016 saw the publication of 28 new precedent decisions that will help shape immigration law across a variety of areas going forward. In order to stay on top of the latest developments in immigration law, we worked diligently to publish articles on the 28 precedent decisions and four adopted decisions as they were published in 2016. In this article, we will provide brief summaries of each of the first fourteen precedent decisions along with links to their corresponding articles. In the conclusion, we will highlight a few of the decisions that should have broad importance going forward.

2016 In Review - Administrative Precedent Decisions (Part 2)

In 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the Attorney General, and the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) combined to produce 28 immigration precedent decisions. With 2016 having come to a close, and 2017 promising to be a significant year in immigration law, we felt that it would be a good time to reflect on the year that was in new administrative precedents. In this article, we will examine the latter 14 immigration precedent decisions issued in 2016. We will provide brief summaries of each decision along with links to the corresponding full articles. In the conclusion, we will highlight the most important of these decisions for immigration law going forward.

2016 In Review - Adopted Decisions

In 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designated four decisions of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) as “adopted decisions.” An adopted decision constitutes binding policy on the USCIS and all of its employees. In this article, we will review each of these decisions and provide brief summaries along with links to the corresponding articles.

Series of Articles on Morales-Santana v. Sessions (Derivation of Citizenship at Birth Decision)

On June 12, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana, 137 S.Ct. 1678 (2017). In the decision, the Supreme Court struck down disparate residency requirements for unwed U.S. citizen mothers (section 301 of the INA) and unwed U.S. citizen fathers (section 309) for the conferral of U.S. citizenship to children born abroad. The Court opted to apply the more stringent rules codified for unwed U.S. citizen fathers to unwed U.S. citizen mothers as well. This decision is highly significant in the context of the laws for statutory derivation of citizenship at birth for children born abroad, specifically for children born abroad to an unwed U.S. citizen mother. This article will serve to organize the number of articles we wrote on the subject of Sessions v. Morales-Santana.

List of Articles on Immigrant Visa Bulletins and Adjustment of Status Filing Charts for Current Fiscal Year

Each month, we post information about the most recent Immigrant Visa Bulletin along with the adjustment of status filing charts in the immigration blog. We will update this post with links to the blogs for the current month and the upcoming month as they are posted. Please see our post on using the immigrant visa bulletin as an adjustment of status applicant for general information on the subject.

Year in Review: 2017 BIA Precedent Decisions (Part I)

A total of 27 immigration administrative decisions were selected for publication in 2017. These decisions are precedential and, accordingly, will shape immigration law in various areas going forward. We are proud to have previously published nearly contemporaneous articles on each of the 27 Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decisions selected for publication in 2017. Now, in two new articles, we will look back on the year that was for precedent decisions as the calendar turns to what promises to be another eventful year in 2018. This article will cover the first fourteen published decisions of 2017 while our companion article will cover the latter 13 decisions. Across these two articles, we will list each decision, provide a link to the decision itself and to our corresponding article, and provide a brief summary of the Board’s holding.

Year in Review: 2017 BIA Precedent Decisions (Part II)

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) published 27 decisions for precedent in 2017. These decisions will help shape immigration law in a variety of areas going forward. As we did in 2016, we published articles on each of the administrative precedent decisions that were published in calendar-year 2017. This is the second of two index articles providing brief descriptions of each of the 27 published decisions from 2017, links to the decisions, and links to our full articles on the decisions. This article will cover the latter 13 published decisions of 2017.

Articles on Inadmissibility/Removability for False Claim to U.S. Citizenship

We have written several articles on the current rules regarding inadmissibility for false claims to U.S. citizenship. In this article, we will include a brief description of the relevant statutory provisions and our index of full articles on the subjects. Those who are interested should consult the full articles included within for more detailed information.

INA Section 237 Index

Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains the INA’s deportability provisions. In general, these provisions apply to aliens who have been admitted to the United States and who are in the United States. We have posted several overviews covering all of the section 237 deportability provisions. Below, you may find each article. These articles cover each specific deportability clause in some detail, with links to more detailed articles where applicable.