On March 14, 2015, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a decision parsing 8 C.F.R. § 1003.19(c), the regulation covering the rules for applying for a bond redetermination. In a fairly footnote-heavy opinion, the BIA, finding that the authority of an Immigration Judge (IJ) to hear bond cases comes from the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) itself through the Attorney General, interpreted the regulatory language to be mandatory, not jurisdictional because it authorizes the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge to designate a hearing location for a bond redetermination, presuming that any court so designated would have jurisdiction to hear the case.
(In a footnote, the BIA found that jurisdiction “refers to the court’s authority to adjudicate a case”, while venue “is the place where such authority is to be exercised”.) The BIA thus held the regulation relates to venue, not jurisdiction. Matter of Cerda Reyes, 26 I & N Dec. 528 (BIA 2015).
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