Cases Challenging the Denial of Discretionary Immigration Benefits

[Also available on LinkedIn.]

Cases challenging the denial of discretionary immigration benefits by USCIS under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) can be difficult. One angle to consider when deciding whether to challenge a denial in federal court is the so called Accardi doctrine, which comes from the Supreme Court case, Accardi v. Shaughnessy. That case and its progeny stand for the proposition that an agency’s failure to follow its own rules or procedures constitutes an arbitrary and capricious action that warrants overturning the agency’s decision, even if the statute involved does not place any limits on the agency’s discretion to make that decision.