Published Oct 19, 2023
Judge Stancill was appointed as an Immigration Judge in December 2000. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 1984, and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in 1989. Judge Stancill worked as an attorney at the law office of Enrique Arevalo in South Pasadena, California, from 1992 to December 2000. She received the Executive Office for Immigration Review Meritorious Public Service Award in 1999. Judge Stancill is a member of the California Bar.
Detailed data on decisions by Judge Stancill were examined for the period covering fiscal years 2018 through 2023. During this period, court records show that Judge Stancill decided 647 asylum claims on their merits. Of these, she granted asylum for 362, granted 11 other types of relief, and denied relief to 274. Converted to percentage terms, Stancill denied 42.3 percent and granted 57.7 percent of asylum cases (including forms of relief other than asylum).
Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Stancill's denial rate each fiscal year over this recent period. (Rates for years with less than 25 decisions are not shown.)
Compared to Judge Stancill's denial rate of 42.3 percent, Immigration Court judges across the country denied 60.6 percent of asylum claims during this same period. Judges at the Los Angeles Immigration Court where Judge Stancill decided these cases denied asylum 66.8 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Judge Stancill's asylum grant and denial rates are compared with other judges serving on the same court in this table. Note that when an Immigration Judge serves on more than one court during the same period, separate Immigration Judge reports are created for any Court in which the judge rendered at least 100 asylum decisions.
Although denial rates are shaped by each Judge's judicial philosophy, denial rates are also shaped by other factors, such as the types of cases on the Judge's docket, the detained status of immigrant respondents, current immigration policies, and other factors beyond an individual Judge's control. For example, TRAC has previously found that legal representation and the nationality of the asylum seeker are just two factors that appear to impact asylum decision outcomes.
The composition of cases may differ significantly between Immigration Courts in the country. Within a single Court when cases are randomly assigned to judges sitting on that Court, each Judge should have roughly a similar composition of cases given a sufficient number of asylum cases. Then variations in asylum decisions among Judges on the same Immigration Court would appear to reflect, at least in part, the judicial philosophy that the Judge brings to the bench. However, if judges within a Court are assigned to specialized dockets or hearing locations, then case compositions are likely to continue to differ and can contribute to differences in asylum denial rates.
When asylum seekers are not represented by an attorney, almost all of them (80%) are denied asylum. In contrast, a significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful. In the case of Judge Stancill, 7.9% were not represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole, about 15.7% 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.
The largest group of asylum seekers appearing before Judge Stancill came from El Salvador. Individuals from this country made up 21.0% of her caseload. Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Stancill were: China (19.2%), Mexico (15.5%), Guatemala (9.0%), Honduras (6.3%). See Figure 4.
In the nation as a whole during this same period, major nationalities of asylum seekers, in descending order of frequency, were El Salvador (16.6%), Guatemala (15.1%), Honduras (13.8%), Mexico (9.2%), China (6.8%), India (5.1%), Venezuela (3.2%), Ecuador (3.1%), Cuba (2.4%), Nicaragua (2.3%), Brazil (2.0%), Colombia (1.4%), Cameroon (1.4%).