Judge Jennie L. Giambastiani
FY 2001 - 2006
Judge Giambastiani was appointed as an Immigration Judge in May 2002. She received a
Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Juris Doctorate from
Loyola University School of Law in 1986. Prior to becoming an Immigration Judge, from April
1987 until May 2002, Judge Giambastiani served as district counsel, deputy district counsel,
assistant district counsel, and supervisory legalization officer for the former Immigration and
Naturalization Service in Chicago. Judge Giambastiani is a member of the Illinois Bar.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge Giambastiani decisions are available for the period covering
fiscal years 2001 through 2006. During this period, Judge
Giambastiani is recorded as deciding 447 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
she granted 218, gave 4 conditional grants, and denied 225.
Converted to percentage terms, Giambastiani denied 50.3 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 49.7 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Giambastiani'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 Giambastiani's denial rate of 50.3 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 60.8 percent
of asylum claims. In the Chicago Immigration Court where Judge Giambastiani
was usually based, judges there denied asylum 63.1 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge Giambastiani can also be ranked compared to each of the 238 individual immigration judges
serving during this period who rendered at least one hundred decisions. If judges were ranked
from 1 to 238 - where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 238
represented the lowest - Judge Giambastiani receives a rank of 180. That is 179
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 58 denied asylum at the same
rate or less often.
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 (87%) of them are denied asylum. In contrast, a
significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful.
In the case of Judge Giambastiani, 6.7% were not
represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole,
about 8.2% 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 Giambastiani, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before her came
from China. Individuals from this nation made up 13.4 % of her caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Giambastiani were:
Guatemala (11.2 %), Albania (6.7%), Iraq (4.3%), Cameroon (3.6%).
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 (22.3%), Colombia (10.2%), Haiti (9.9%), Albania (3.9%), Indonesia (3.8%),
India (3.5%), Guatemala (3.1%), El Salvador (2.1%), Armenia (2.1%), Mexico (1.7%),
Russia (1.6%), Ethiopia (1.6%), Pakistan (1.5%), and Cameroon (1.4%).