Judge William A. Cassidy
FY 2012 - 2017, Atlanta Immigration Court
Judge Cassidy was appointed as an Immigration Judge in October 1993. He received a Bachelor
of Science degree from Kenyon College in 1975, and a Juris Doctorate from John
Marshall/Cleveland State University in 1980. As an Immigration Judge, he has worked in both
the New York and Atlanta Immigration Courts. Prior to joining the Executive Office for
Immigration Review, he was in private practice with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, in Cleveland,
Ohio. From 1987 to 1992, Judge Cassidy served as both general attorney at the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) in Cleveland, and as director of training at INS Headquarters in
Washington, DC. From 1984 to 1986, he served as law director/prosecutor with the City of
North Ridgeville, and from 1981 to 1984, he served as an assistant county prosecutor for the
Civil/Criminal Division with Cuyahoga County, both in Ohio. Judge Cassidy is a member of the
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge Cassidy decisions were examined for the period covering
fiscal years 2012 through 2017. During this period, Judge
Cassidy is recorded as deciding 220 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
he granted 9, gave no conditional grants, and denied 211.
Converted to percentage terms, Cassidy denied 95.9 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 4.1 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Cassidy'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 Cassidy's denial rate of 95.9 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 52.8 percent
of asylum claims. In the Atlanta Immigration Court where Judge Cassidy
was based, judges there denied asylum 93.4 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge Cassidy can also be ranked compared to each of the 293 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 293 - where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 293
represented the lowest - Judge Cassidy here receives a rank of 21. That is 20
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 272 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 (91%) of them are denied asylum. In contrast, a
significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful.
In the case of Judge Cassidy, 50% were not
represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole,
about 20.2% 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 Cassidy, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before him came
from El Salvador. Individuals from this nation made up 29.5 % of his caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Cassidy were:
Haiti (9.5 %), Honduras (9.1%), Nigeria (8.6%), Guatemala (7.7%).
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 (23.4%), El Salvador (11.7%), Mexico (11.0%), Honduras (8.3%), Guatemala (8.2%), India (2.9%), Nepal (2.0%), Haiti (2.0%), Ethiopia (1.7%), Somalia (1.4%), Eritrea (1.4%), Egypt (1.2%), Cameroon (1.0%).