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Emory University School of Law

Comment: Due Process Problems Caused by Large Disparities in Grants of Asylum: Will New Department of Justice Recommendations Solve the Problem?
By Nicole S. Thompson*

A report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse ("TRAC Report") at Syracuse University found dramatic disparities in the grant and denial of individual asylum cases between immigration judges. n216 This study used data from the EOIR to track the 297,240 cases from 1994 to 2005. n217 The TRAC study noted that changes to the immigration court's structure may be reflected in the study. n218 The TRAC study had three primary findings. n219 First, the study found that while eight judges denied 90% of their cases, and two judges granted 90% of their cases, the typical asylum denial rate was 65%. n220 Second, there was a range in denial rates among judges, from 10% (on the low side) to 98% (on the high side.) n221 Third, two groups of 10% of the immigration judges either denied asylum at a rate of 86% or denied asylum at a rate of 34%. n222 n18. See Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse Immigration Report, Immigration Judges (2006), http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/160/ [hereinafter Immigration Judges] (showing the nationwide existence of judicial disparities between immigration court judges n34. Id. The 250,000 immigration cases handled each year are heard by approximately 200 immigration judges. Tebo, supra note 22, at 39. Between 25,000 and 35,000 of these claims end in denial in a given year. Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse Immigration Report, Asylum Law, Asylum Seekers and Refugees:A Primer, http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/161/ [hereinafter AsylumLaw]. Some nations, such as China, Haiti and Colombia, are more highly represented than other countries. n66. See Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse Immigration Report, The Asylum Process, http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/159 (last visited Feb. 22, 2008). This is not purely a phenomenon affecting the United States. Id.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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