[Update – September 7, 2015] This post was written in March, 2011, when all of the temporary Board members were women. As of today, there are four temporary members, and only 3 of those four are women. Apparently Brian M. O’Leary was appointed as a temporary Board member in July, 2015 after serving for six years as Chief Immigration Judge from 2009 to 2015.


Just a thought.  There are currently fourteen (14) official BIA members (Michael Creppy has been appointed, but the BIA’s website doesn’t yet list him).  10 are men, and 4 are women.

The BIA also has five “temporary” members, with terms that cannot exceed six months.  But for some reason all of the temporary Board members are women.  Combined, the BIA looks pretty equal – 10 men and 9 women.

But why are are the female members so much more likely to be “temporary” members?

The “temporary” status isn’t just a title – it makes a difference.  Aside from their short tenure, temporary members can decide cases but “shall not have the authority to vote on any matter decided by the Board en banc.”  8 CFR 1003.1(a)(4).

Temporary members also have no say in whether panel decisions will be precedential.  8 CFR 1003.1(g).