Judge Rex J. Ford
FY 2009 - 2014, Miami - Krome Immigration Court
Judge Ford was appointed as an Immigration Judge in April 1993. He received a Bachelor of
Arts degree from Arizona State University in 1977, and a Juris Doctorate from Nova University
Law Center in 1984. From 1989 to 1993, Judge Ford served as an associate deputy attorney
general for the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. From 1987 to 1989, he was associate
dean for Nova University Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. From 1985 to 1986, Judge Ford
was a partner for the law firm of Tucker, Ford, and Milbrath in Ocala, Florida. From 1984 to
1985, he served as general counsel for Skyway Commuter, Inc., also in Ocala. Judge Ford is a
member of the Florida and District of Columbia Bars.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge Ford decisions were examined for the period covering
fiscal years 2009 through the first nine months of 2014. During this period, Judge
Ford is recorded as deciding 291 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
he granted 23, gave no conditional grants, and denied 268.
Converted to percentage terms, Ford denied 92.1 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 7.9 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Ford's
denial rate fiscal year-by-year over this recent period.
Compared to Judge Ford's denial rate of 92.1 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 48.5 percent
of asylum claims. In the Miami - Krome Immigration Court where Judge Ford
was based, judges there denied asylum 96 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge Ford can also be ranked compared to each of the 270 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 270 - where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 270
represented the lowest - Judge Ford here receives a rank of 24. That is 23
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 246 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 (89%) of them are denied asylum. In contrast, a
significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful.
In the case of Judge Ford, 51.2% were not
represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole,
about 14.6% 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 Ford, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before him came
from El Salvador. Individuals from this nation made up 17.2 % of his caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Ford were:
Haiti (16.8 %), China (12.7%), Honduras (11.3%), Sri Lanka (8.2%).
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 (28.5%), El Salvador (6.8%), Mexico (5.9%), Guatemala (5.7%), Haiti (3.1%), Honduras (2.9%), India (2.7%), Ethiopia (2.5%), Colombia (2.2%), Nepal (2.1%), Indonesia (1.5%), Eritrea (1.5%), Venezuela (1.5%).