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

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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.

Nationwide Comparisons

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.

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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.

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Figure 3: Asylum Seeker Had Representation
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.

Nationality

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.

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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%).

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