Judge Garry D. Malphrus
FY 2002 - 2007, Arlington Immigration Court
Judge Malphrus was appointed as an Immigration Judge in March 2005. He received a Bachelor
of Arts degree in 1989 (magna cum laude) and a Juris Doctorate in 1993 (Order of the Coif),
both from the University of South Carolina. Prior to becoming an Immigration Judge, from 2001
to 2004, Judge Malphrus served as Associate Director of the White House Domestic Policy
Council. In that capacity, he assisted with the development, coordination, and implementation
of administration policy on a wide variety of issues related to the U. S. Department of Justice.
From 1997 to 2001, Judge Malphrus served on the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee and was
chief counsel and staff director of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight and later, on
the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Judge Malphrus worked as a law clerk for the Honorable
Dennis W. Shedd, now of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, from 1995 to 1997,
and for the Honorable William W. Wilkins, now the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit, from 1994 to 1995. He was also a law clerk for the Honorable Larry R.
Patterson, Circuit Judge for South Carolina, from 1993 to 1994. Judge Malphrus is a member
of the South Carolina Bar.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge Malphrus decisions were examined for the period covering
fiscal years 2002 through 2007. During this period, Judge
Malphrus is recorded as deciding 417 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
he granted 138, gave no conditional grants, and denied 279.
Converted to percentage terms, Malphrus denied 66.9 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 33.1 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Malphrus's
denial rate fiscal year-by-year over this recent period.
(Rates for years with less than 25 decisions are not shown.)
Compared to Judge Malphrus's denial rate of 66.9 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 59.8 percent
of asylum claims. In the Arlington Immigration Court where Judge Malphrus
was based, judges there denied asylum 59 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge Malphrus can also be ranked compared to each of the 267 individual immigration judges
serving during this period who rendered at least one hundred decisions in a city's immigration court. If judges were ranked
from 1 to 267 - where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 267
represented the lowest - Judge Malphrus here receives a rank of 135. That is 134
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 132 denied asylum at the same
rate or less often. Ranks are tallied separately for each immigration court. Should a judge serve on more than one court
during this period, separate ranks would be assigned in any court that the judge rendered at least 100 asylum decisions in.
Why Do Denial Rates Vary Among Judges?
Denial rates reflect in part the differing composition of cases assigned to
different immigration judges. For example, being represented in court and the nationality
of the asylum seeker appear to often impact decision outcome. Decisions also appear to
reflect in part the personal perspective that the judge brings to the bench.
Figure 3: Asylum Seeker Had Representation
If an asylum seeker is not represented by an
attorney, almost all (86%) of them are denied asylum. In contrast, a
significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful.
In the case of Judge Malphrus, 19.9% were not
represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole,
about 7.7% of asylum seekers are not represented.
Asylum seekers are a
diverse group. Over one hundred different nationalities had at least one hundred
individuals claiming asylum decided during this period. As might be expected,
immigration courts located in different parts of the country tend to have
proportionately larger shares from some countries than from others. And, given
the required legal grounds for a successful asylum claim, asylum seekers
from some nations tend to be more successful than others.
Figure 4: Asylum Decisions by Nationality
For Judge Malphrus, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before him came
from Ethiopia. Individuals from this nation made up 17.8 % of his caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Malphrus were:
Cameroon (8.9 %), Mauritania (5.3%), Egypt (5%), El Salvador (3.4%).
See Figure 4.
In the nation as a whole during this same period, major nationalities of asylum
seekers, in descending order of frequency, were China (21.3%), Colombia (10.5%),
Haiti (9.8%), Indonesia (4.0%), Albania (3.7%), Guatemala (3.3%), India (3.3%),
El Salvador (2.7%), Armenia (2.0%), Ethiopia (1.6%), Mexico (1.6%), Russia (1.5%),
and Venezuela (1.5%).