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A Look at the Arbitrary and Capricious Standard

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Generally, appeals from agency decisions go through several levels within the agency itself. Once that process is exhausted - assuming you lose in all higher levels within the agency - you can appeal to state or federal courts to review the administrative law judge’s original decision. When a state or federal court hears an appeal from an agency decision, they must look at it through a certain lens, which is called a “standard of review.” There are several standards of review for appellate courts, just like trial courts have different burdens of proof. So, this is the first question every appellate court should ask when reviewing a case: what is the appropriate way to review the facts, evidence, and decision?

Some standards give the lower-level decisions much deference, and others require moderate or strict scrutiny. For example, generally, lower-level courts and agencies cannot radically change the applicable law. If they do make a mistake about the law, an appeals court can readily overturn it. But in appeals from an agency decision, appellate courts must let the agency’s factual determinations stand unless they are “arbitrary and capricious.”

Arbitrary and capricious means that the government is not supposed to be unfair or random in how they give out immigration benefits or any kind of benefits. However, there is unquestionable evidence of decisions made by immigrations agencies that suggest a less-than arbitrary and capricious standard. The asylum approval rate at the immigration court in Atlanta is 2% and the asylum approval rate in San Francisco is 70%. New York is 50%.

One of the changes that the Trump Administration has made is prioritizing the recent asylum applications and letting the old ones fall further back in line and importance. Now, people are having their asylum case heard in about four to five months while the backlog continues, because Jeff Sessions believes that "dirty immigration" lawyers are helping asylum seekers make fake asylum claims so that they can stay in the United States. Asylum is the number one area that they have focused on.

Understand the Standards Courts Must Adhere to

Because of these clearly stacked odds, asylum seekers often choose to pair with a dedicated immigration attorney to help them make the most out of their immigration efforts. An attorney at the Hacking Immigration Law, LLC could help you by reviewing your current situation and building a case that could help you 5overcome the legal immigration obstacles you are facing

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