San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article examines the exercise of administrative discretion under the immigration laws under practical considerations. In terms of human misery, the potential impact of our immigration laws can hardly be overstated. With minor exceptions, the immigration laws operate directly and exclusively upon human beings whose hopes for future happiness in a realistic sense frequently depend on their ability to enter, or remain in, this land of freedom and opportunity. The statutes themselves contain a built-in potential for hardship which is to some extent unavoidable. To afford some opportunity for relief from the hardships that inevitably result from the application of laws thus cast in inflexible terms, Congress has through the years provided an ever-increasing array of administrative remedies. The Author argues that unless standards are laid down which are not illusory and can be uniformly applied in the real world, we depart from evenhanded justice and the rule of law.