OCAHO decisions that may be cited, used, or relied upon as precedents in future adjudications are available electronically under the heading Published Decisions. Unpublished decisions or other information covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) may be requested from EOIR's FOIA Contact.
The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer publishes decisions that have been selected for and may be used as precedent pursuant to 5 U.S.C. section 552(a)(2). Each decision has been given an OCAHO Reference Number for publication purposes.
Decisions are available in bound volumes, entitled Administrative Decisions Under Employer Sanctions, Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices and Civil Penalty Document Fraud Laws of the United States. The bound volumes and the looseleaf volume of the most recent decisions are available here electronically through the links below. Decisions in the looseleaf volume, which are not yet published in the form of a bound volume, may be cited nevertheless as part of their respective volume (See Appendix I (Citations)).
In employer sanctions and document fraud cases, a modification or vacation order by the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (CAHO) is the final agency order (unless modified or vacated by the Attorney General). CAHO orders have their own OCAHO Reference Number and, for informational purposes, the original Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) order, labeled "modified" or "vacated" as appropriate, will appear immediately after the CAHO's order.
All OCAHO decisions and orders published after May 1, 2015 will follow a revised numbering system in order to facilitate subsequent case history research. Under the revised numbering system, if an OCAHO case results in multiple published decisions, all of the decisions in that same case will be published under the same reference number, with "sub-letters" for decisions after the first decision. The sub-letters will be lower-case, beginning with "a" (e.g., 1247, 1247a, 1247b, etc.). All subsequent decisions in a single case would appear on OCAHO's decision listings page directly under any previous decisions in that case.
Please note that published decisions with sub-letters are not subordinate to or less authoritative than the first published decision in a case simply because those subsequent decisions have been assigned a sub-letter. The sub-letters merely indicate the order in which the decisions in that case were issued and published, not their relative importance.
Published Decisions and Orders by Volume