Friday, June 11, 2021
Immigration Article of the Day: The Case for Chevron Deference to Immigration Adjudications by Patrick J. Glen
The Case for Chevron Deference to Immigration Adjudications by PatricJ. Glen. Duke Law Journal Online forthcoming
Chevron skepticism is in vogue in legal academia, as Professors Shoba Wadhia and Christopher Walker’s recent entry in the genre demonstrates. They place their project within the broader academic trend of arguing for limitations on the application of deference to various administrative decisions, but their aim is ultimately narrower—to show that “this case against Chevron has * * * its greatest force when it comes to immigration.”
The Professors are incorrect. Immigration adjudication presents one of the strongest cases for deference to administrative adjudication. This case is founded in the text of the statute itself and its myriad general and specific delegations of authority to the Attorney General, the expertise of the agency which has honed its interpretive enterprise through adjudicating tens of thousands of cases annually, and the ultimate political accountability of the agency head in immigration adjudication. For these reasons, the Supreme Court has applied Chevron deference to immigration adjudications since the very foundation of that framework. Although they advance an interesting contrarian thesis, the Professors ultimately provide no sound basis for retreating from four decades of established jurisprudence.