Board of Immigration Appeals: Affirmance Without Opinion, Referral for Panel Review, and Publication of Decisions as Precedents
The Department of Justice (Department) is publishing this final rule (``final rule'' or ``rule'') to amend the regulations regarding the administrative review procedures of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board). This final rule sets forth the Department's longstanding position that the regulations providing for an affirmance without opinion (AWO), a single-member opinion, or a three-member panel opinion are not intended to create any substantive right to a particular manner of review or decision. The final rule also clarifies that the BIA is presumed to have considered all of the parties' relevant issues and claims of error on appeal regardless of the type of the BIA's decision, and that the parties are obligated to raise issues and exhaust claims of error before the BIA. In addition, the final rule codifies standards for the BIA's consideration in evaluating whether to designate particular decisions as precedents. Finally, the final rule provides clarity surrounding precedent decisions in the context of decisions from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) regarding the recognition of organizations and the designation of accredited representatives.