INS v. National Center for Immigrants' Rights, Inc., 502 U.S. 183, 5 (1991)

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Cite as: 502 U. S. 183 (1991)

Opinion of the Court

in every bond." National Center for Immigrants' Rights, Inc. v. INS, 791 F. 2d 1351, 1356 (CA9 1986).

The Government petitioned for certiorari raising the same question that is now before us. The Government argued that because the regulation only barred "unauthorized" work by aliens, it merely added the threat of a bond revocation to the already existing prohibition against unauthorized employment. In view of the then-recent enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), 100 Stat. 3359, which cast serious doubt on the Court of Appeals' conclusion that employment of undocumented aliens was only a "peripheral concern" of the immigration laws, we vacated that court's judgment and remanded for further consideration in the light of IRCA. 481 U. S. 1009 (1987). On remand, the District Court adhered to its original opinion that the Attorney General's discretion to impose bond conditions is "limited to those [conditions] aimed at obtaining an undocumented worker's appearance at future immigration proceedings." App. to Pet. for Cert. 68a. The District Court noted that the enactment of employer sanctions in IRCA made the question whether the employment of undocumented aliens is merely a "peripheral concern" of the INA more difficult, but concluded that this change in the law did not broaden the Attorney General's discretion.

A divided panel of the Court of Appeals again affirmed, but the majority did not rely on the District Court's reasoning. 913 F. 2d 1350 (CA9 1990). The majority first rejected the Government's interpretation of the new regulation as merely barring " 'unauthorized employment' "; the Court of Appeals construed the rule as a "blanket bond condition" applicable to aliens authorized to work as well as to those who had no such authority. Id., at 1353-1358. The majority then concluded that the Attorney General exceeded his statutory authority in promulgating the regulation, ruling that the Attorney General's discretion in imposing bond conditions was subject to two constraints. First, the court


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