Judge Earle B. Wilson
FY 2012 - 2017, Atlanta Immigration Court
Judge Wilson was appointed as an Immigration Judge in October 2005. He received a Bachelor
of Science degree in 1979 from Atlantic Union College, and a Juris Doctorate in 1989 from
Howard University School of Law. Judge Wilson served as a senior litigation counsel from
January 2003 to October 2004 and trial attorney from October 1998 to December 2002, both with
the Office of Immigration Litigation, Department of Justice, in Washington, DC. He worked as
an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland from October 1996 to
October 1998. Judge Wilson served as senior counsel at the Securities and Exchange
Commission in Washington, DC, from February 1992 to October 1996. He was an associate
attorney with the law firm of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, Michigan, from
August 1990 to February 1992. Judge Wilson served as law clerk to the Honorable Joseph W.
Hatchett (retired) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Tallahassee, Florida,
from July 1989 to July 1990. He is a member of the Maryland Bar.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge Wilson decisions were examined for the period covering
fiscal years 2012 through 2017. During this period, Judge
Wilson is recorded as deciding 1114 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
he granted 25, gave no conditional grants, and denied 1089.
Converted to percentage terms, Wilson denied 97.8 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 2.2 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Wilson's
denial rate fiscal year-by-year over this recent period.
Compared to Judge Wilson's denial rate of 97.8 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 52.8 percent
of asylum claims. In the Atlanta Immigration Court where Judge Wilson
was based, judges there denied asylum 93.4 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge Wilson 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 Wilson here receives a rank of 6. That is 5
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 287 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 Wilson, 21.5% 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 Wilson, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before him came
from Guatemala. Individuals from this nation made up 30.8 % of his caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Wilson were:
El Salvador (19.5 %), Mexico (18%), Honduras (16.1%), Haiti (1.6%).
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%).