The Court ruled that the Board of Immigration Appeals' "comparable-grounds rule" was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. The rule was used by the agency to determine the eligibility for discretionary relief of a long-term resident alien facing deportation for a past criminal conviction. The comparable-grounds rule asked whether the statutory deportation ground corresponded, in type and breadth, to a statutory exclusion ground under which a long-term resident alien who left the U.S. could be barred from re-entry. "But so what if it does?", the Court asked. "Each of these statutory grounds contains a slew of offenses. Whether each contains the same slew has nothing to do with whether a deportable alien whose prior conviction falls within both grounds merits the ability to seek a waiver." Comparing the comparable-grounds rule to decisionmaking by coin toss, the Court wrote that the rule was "unmoored from the purposes and concerns of the immigration laws. It allows an irrelevant comparison between statutory provisions to govern a matter of the utmost importance—whether lawful resident aliens with longstanding ties to this country may stay here." The rule was made further arbitrary by the fact that an official's choice of which of overlapping statutory deportation grounds covered a particular prior crime would itself determine the outcome of the comparison.