INS v. National Center for Immigrants' Rights, Inc., 502 U.S. 183 (1991)

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OCTOBER TERM, 1991

Syllabus

IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE et al. v. NATIONAL CENTER FOR IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS, INC., et al.

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit

No. 90-1090. Argued November 13, 1991—Decided December 16, 1991

Section 242(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the Attorney General to arrest excludable aliens and, pending a determination of their deportability, either to hold them in custody or to release them on bond containing conditions prescribed by the Attorney General. Respondent individuals and organizations filed suit in the District Court against petitioners, alleging that 8 CFR 103.6(a) (2)(ii)—which is entitled "Condition against unauthorized employment" and generally requires that release bonds contain a "condition barring employment" pending a deportability determination—was invalid on its face and therefore could not be enforced even against aliens who may not lawfully accept employment in this country. Ultimately, the District Court held that the regulation was beyond the Attorney General's statutory authority. The Court of Appeals affirmed, ruling that the regulation barred all employment, whether authorized or unauthorized, and that the Attorney General exceeded his authority in promulgating it because the no-employment condition was not related to the purposes of the INA and the regulation did not provide for "individualized decisions" on the imposition of bond conditions as required by the statute.

Held: The regulation on its face is consistent with the Attorney General's statutory authority. Pp. 188-196. (a) No "as-applied" challenges to the regulation nor any constitutional claims raised by respondents' initial complaint are before this Court. P. 188. (b) The regulation does not contemplate the inclusion of no-work conditions in bonds issued to aliens who are authorized to work. Reading the text's generic reference to "employment" as a reference to the "unauthorized employment" identified in the paragraph's title helps to resolve any ambiguity in the text's language. See, e. g., Mead Corp. v. Tilley, 490 U. S. 714, 723. Moreover, the agency's consistent interpretation of the regulation as applying only to unauthorized employment is due deference. This conclusion is further supported by the regulation's text, the agency's comments when the rule was promulgated, operating

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