Under the Trump Administration, a series of Attorney General decisions increased Executive Branch scrutiny over decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This scrutiny serves to advance an anti-immigration policy at the cost of denying entry of valid asylum seekers. These decisions are due to tension between the politically directed executive power of Attorneys General and the Judicial nature of the BIA. This internal contradiction results in Attorney General decisions that are arbitrary, inconsistent, employ poor reasoning, deviate from precedent, and cause inhumane effects. The structure of asylum administration, as laid out in the Immigration and Naturalization Act and its progeny, directly causes this contradiction. It therefore requires sweeping reform for redress of these harmful effects. Such reform should cleave judicial review of asylum application from the political whims of the Executive Branch. This would allow asylum law to serve the purposes it was meant to serve—to provide an avenue to safety for those fleeing persecution and violence.
David C. Portillo Jr.,
A Weaponized Process: The Deterioration of Asylum Administration Under Trump,
42 J. Nat’l Ass’n Admin. L. Judiciary
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/naalj/vol42/iss1/1