Judge Margaret McManus
FY 2001 - 2006
Judge McManus was appointed as an Immigration Judge in January 1991. She received a
Bachelor of Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in 1973, and a Juris Doctorate
from Brooklyn Law School in 1983. Judge McManus was an attorney for Marion Ginsberg,
Esquire from 1989 to 1990 in New York. She was in private practice in 1987 and 1990, also in
New York. Judge McManus worked as a consultant to various nonprofit organizations on
immigration matters including Catholic Charities and Volunteers of Legal Services from 1987
to 1988 in New York. She was an adjunct clinical law professor for City University of
New York Law School from 1988 to 1989. Judge McManus served as a staff attorney for the
Legal Aid Society, Immigration Unit, in New York, from 1983 to 1987. She is a member of the
New York Bar.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge McManus decisions are available for the period covering
fiscal years 2001 through 2006. During this period, Judge
McManus is recorded as deciding 1946 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
she granted 1508, gave 216 conditional grants, and denied 222.
Converted to percentage terms, McManus denied 11.4 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 88.6 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge McManus's
denial rate fiscal year-by-year over this recent period.
Compared to Judge McManus's denial rate of 11.4 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 60.8 percent
of asylum claims. In the New York Immigration Court where Judge McManus
was usually based, judges there denied asylum 42.7 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge McManus 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 McManus receives a rank of 237. That is 236
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 1 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 McManus, 3.9% 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 McManus, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before her came
from China. Individuals from this nation made up 54.9 % of her caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge McManus were:
Albania (7.1 %), Indonesia (3.6%), Yugoslavia (3%), Mauritania (2.8%).
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%).