High Court’s Kucana Ruling Will Further Burden Immigration System

Immigrants adjudged illegal should not be able to conduct multiple assaults upon their removal order. And while the Court’s statutory analysis of the IIRIRA is certainly tenable, its justifications for judicial review do not fully extend to multiple motions to reopen. Judicial review generally “concerns only the question whether the alien’s claims have been accorded a reasonable hearing,” but, at a point, aliens like Kucana are being accorded so much procedure that it is only amounting to delay. Aliens may always seek review based on “constitutional claims or questions of law,” but allowing abuse-of-discretion challenges to cases long since closed cuts against judicial efficiency and the finality of judgments long prized in our judicial system. Congress has intentionally provided considerable opportunities for immigrants to receive a fair hearing and review, but Kucana shows that further legislative action may be necessary to prevent fair procedure from also being a means of abuse.

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