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Abstract

In immigration law and its administrative application, linedrawing is a fact of life. Charged by Congress to administer the Immigration and Nationality Act ["INA" or "the Act"], the Attorney General and his delegate, the Immigration and Naturalization Service ["INS" or "the Service"], would be unable to cope with the caseload, given budget constraints, if each case required a full hearing on the merits. Linedrawing works well in the thousands of routine cases in which the grant or denial of permanent or temporary visas depends on the applicant's fulfillment of certain well-defined criteria. Congress contemplates and accepts a few unfair results at the administrative level as the price of a speedy and efficient adjudication of the overwhelming majority of cases. Even in these situations, though, it has provided for administrative and judicial redress of most potential unfairness.

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