Reno v. Catholic Social Services, Inc., 509 U.S. 43 (1993)

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

No. 91-1826. Argued January 11, 1993—Decided June 18, 1993

Under the alien legalization program created by Title II of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, an alien unlawfully present in the United States who sought permission to reside permanently had to apply first for temporary resident status by establishing, inter alia, that he had resided continuously in this country in an unlawful status and had been physically present here continuously for specified periods. After the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) issued regulations construing particular aspects of, respectively, the "continuous physical presence" and "continuous unlawful residence" requirements, two separate class actions were brought, each challenging one of the regulations on behalf of aliens whom it would render ineligible for legalization. In each instance, the District Court struck down the challenged regulation as inconsistent with the Reform Act and issued a remedial order directing the INS to accept legalization applications beyond the statutory deadline. The Court of Appeals, among other rulings, consolidated the INS's appeals from the remedial orders, rejected the INS's argument that the Reform Act's restrictive judicial review provisions barred district court jurisdiction in each case, and affirmed the District Courts' judgments.

Held: The record is insufficient to allow this Court to decide all issues necessary to determine whether the District Courts had jurisdiction. Pp. 53-67. (a) The Reform Act's exclusive review scheme—which applies to "determination[s] respecting an application for adjustment of status," 8 U. S. C. 1255a(f)(1), and specifies that "a denial" of such adjustment may be judicially scrutinized "only in the . . . review of an order of deportation" in the courts of appeals, 1255a(f)(4)(A)—does not preclude district court jurisdiction over an action which, in challenging the legality of an INS regulation, does not refer to or rely on the denial of any individual application. The statutory language delimiting the jurisdictional bar refers only to review of such an individual denial. Mc-Nary v. Haitian Refugee Center, Inc., 498 U. S. 479, 494. Pp. 53-56. (b) However, the promulgation of the challenged regulations did not itself affect each of the plaintiff class members concretely enough to


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