Judge Jennie L. Giambastiani

FY 2013 - 2018, Chicago Immigration Court

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

Bar chart of fy

Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied

Detailed data on Judge Giambastiani decisions were examined for the period covering fiscal years 2013 through 2018. During this period, Judge Giambastiani is recorded as deciding 441 asylum claims on their merits. Of these, she granted 185, gave no conditional grants, and denied 256. Converted to percentage terms, Giambastiani denied 58 percent and granted (including conditional grants) 42 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Giambastiani's denial rate fiscal year-by-year over this recent period.

Nationwide Comparisons

Compared to Judge Giambastiani's denial rate of 58 percent, nationally during this same period, immigration court judges denied 57.6 percent of asylum claims. In the Chicago Immigration Court where Judge Giambastiani was based, judges there denied asylum 53.4 percent of the time. See Figure 2.

Bar chart of _NAME_

Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)

Judge Giambastiani can also be ranked compared to each of the 347 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 347 - where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 347 represented the lowest - Judge Giambastiani here receives a rank of 223. That is 222 judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 124 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.

Pie chart of represented

Figure 3: Asylum Seeker Had Representation
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 Giambastiani, 26.1% were not represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole, about 20% 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.

Pie chart of nationality

Figure 4: Asylum Decisions by Nationality

For Judge Giambastiani, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before her came from Honduras. Individuals from this nation made up 22 % of her caseload. Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Giambastiani were: El Salvador (19.3 %), Mexico (14.5%), Guatemala (13.6%), China (9.5%). 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 (18.5%), El Salvador (14.7%), Mexico (12.0%), Honduras (10.9%), Guatemala (10.3%), India (3.2%), Haiti (2.1%), Nepal (1.8%), Eritrea (1.3%), Ethiopia (1.3%), Somalia (1.2%), Cameroon (1.0%), Bangladesh (1.0%).

TRAC Copyright
Copyright 2018, TRAC Reports, Inc.

TRAC DHS Immigration Web Site