Thursday, December 30, 2021

JOTWELL Administrative Law Listings feature immigration

Mila Sohoni reviews Shalini Bhargave Ray's law review article "Immigration Law's Arbitrariness Problem," 121 Columbia Law Review 2049 (2021) for JOTWELL. 

The summary for the article is here:

In the article, Professor Ray sets out how the immigration bureaucracy stops, or indefinitely postpones, the issuance and execution of huge numbers of removal orders through the use of various administrative devices, including deferred action, administrative closure, and orders of supervision. She then explains the problematic feature of these discretionary tools as a rule-of-law matter: though these shadow sanctions mitigate the harshness of deportation, they are still doled out in an entirely opaque and often arbitrary way.

According to the "jot," the article provides a keen focus on executive branch agencies and immigration bureaucracy: "In this era of whiplash and litigation concerning immigration law’s enforcement priorities, the vast, uneven, and ill-understood system of sanctions and lenience examined by Ray will continue to play a major role, whether the public knows about it or not. Immigration law’s system of shadow sanctions, she shows, is both inevitable and imperfect—but the tools of administrative law may fruitfully be harnessed to improve it. In seeking to narrow the gap between immigration law and ordinary administrative law, Ray’s exploration and critique of these discretionary tools of immigration enforcement places a much-needed spotlight on the immigration bureaucracy’s own “shadow dockets.”"


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