BIA HOLDS THAT, IN ADJUDICATING AN APPLICATION PER 8 CFR § 1292.2(a) FOR RECOGNITION AS A NON-PROFIT OR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION PROVIDING LOW-COST OR FREE LEGAL REPRESENTATION, THE BOARD WILL NOT RULE FAVORABLY WHERE THE ENTITY IS PHYSICALLY COLOCATED OR FINANCIALLY ASSOCIATED WITH A FOR-PROFIT VENTURE UNLESS THE ORGANIZATION PROVES IT WILL NOT BE INFLUENCED BY THE PECUNIARY INTERESTS OF THE COMMERCIAL AFFILIATE.
On November 20, 2014 the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), finding that the purpose of the recognition and accreditation program set forth by 8 CFR § 1292.2(a) is to certify applicants that will provide competent and affordable immigration legal services to those of limited means through reputable nonprofit organizations, held that the Board will not grant recognition to an entity that will use the recognition in a way that is disconsonant with the requirement that it provide low-cost immigration services to low-income clients. The BIA will be “especially cautious” if there are concerns the organization might use recognition to solicit clients for a profit-making venture. The Board also held that the intentions and circumstances of nonprofit entities that are physically colocated or financially associated with, or attached to, a for-profit organization will be scrutinized to ensure the applicant remains separate and apart from the for-profit venture. Matter of St. Francis Cabrini Immigration Law Center, 26 I. & N. Dec. 445 (BIA 2014).