INS V. JONG HA WANG, 450 U. S. 139 (1981)

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U.S. Supreme Court

INS v. Jong Ha Wang, 450 U.S. 139 (1981)

Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Jong Ha Wang

No. 80-485

Decided March 2, 1981

450 U.S. 139


Respondents, husband and wife who are citizens of Korea and who had been ordered to be deported after an administrative hearing, subsequently moved to reopen the deportation proceedings, seeking a suspension of deportation for "extreme hardship" under § 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and applicable regulations. They alleged that deportation would result in extreme hardship to their two American-born children through loss of "educational opportunities," and to themselves and their children from the forced liquidation, at a possible loss, of their assets, which included a home and a dry cleaning business. The Board of Immigration Appeals denied the motion without a hearing, concluding that respondents had failed to establish a prima facie case of extreme hardship. The Court of Appeals reversed, directing that a hearing be held and holding that the extreme hardship requirement of § 244 is satisfied if an alien produces sufficient evidence to suggest that the hardship from deportation would be different and more severe than that suffered by the ordinary alien who is deported.

Held: The Board did not exceed its authority, and the Court of Appeals erred in ordering that the case be reopened. Respondents' allegations of hardship were, in the main, conclusory and unsupported by affidavit, as required by the applicable regulations. Moreover, the Court of Appeals improvidently encroached on the authority which the Act confers on the Attorney General and his delegates to define "extreme hardship" in the first instance. They may construe the term narrowly should they deem it wise to do so, and their construction and application of the standard should not be overturned simply because the reviewing court may prefer another interpretation of the statute.

Certiorari granted; 622 F.2d 1341, reversed.

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