San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



The Immigration and Nationality Act vests enormous discretion in the Attorney General and subordinates, such discretion exercised frequently at all levels of the immigration system. Despite this, though, judicial review of these decisions has followed a very uneven, troubled course. This Article explores the reasons for this, focusing first on the Administrative Procedure Act and the elusive meaning of discretion itself. The author demonstrates the "disintegration" of administrative law and what he sees as the failure of its general precepts to accommodate immigration issues. The Article traces the development of faulty doctrine through case law, resulting in a stunted judicial review. The author recommends developing a more particularized approach to judicial review to afford aliens effective access to our legal system.