Posner Slams the BIA:
Check out this remarkable opinion by Judge Posner yesterday harshly criticizing the Board of Immigration Appeals for its poor quality work. Noting the high reversal rates of the BIA in the Courts of Appeals, Posner writes:
  This tension between judicial and administrative adjudicators is not due to judicial hostility to the nation's immigration policies or to a misconception of the proper standard of judicial review of administrative decisions. It is due to the fact that the adjudication of these cases at the administrative level has fallen below the minimum standards of legal justice. Whether this is due to resource constraints or to other circumstances beyond the Board's and the Immigration Court's control, we do not know, though we note that the problem is not of recent origin. All that is clear is that it cannot be in the interest of the immigration authorities, the taxpayer, the federal judiciary, or citizens concerned with the effective enforcement of the nation's immigration laws for removal orders to be routinely nullified by the courts, and that the power of correction lies in the Department of Homeland Security, which prosecutes removal cases, and the Department of Justice, which adjudicates them in its Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals.
  (I have omitted citations, because, well, this is a Posner opinion.) And here is the conclusion:
  The Board's action is intelligible, but not justifiable, only as punishment for a lawyer's mistaken belief that the filing of the I-485 form (which had already been filed!) would be premature. We are not required to permit Benslimane to be ground to bits in the bureaucratic mill against the will of Congress. And anyway punishment was not the rationale of the Board's action, which appears to have been completely arbitrary.
  The order of removal is vacated . . .
  Ouch. Thanks to Quaker and Steve Vladeck for the link.

  UPDATE: Oh, and don't miss the audio of the oral argument, available here, especially starting around the 15 minute mark.