Published Oct 26, 2022
Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Judge Parchert in January 2009. Judge Parchert received a bachelor of arts degree in 1989 from Illinois Wesleyan University and a juris doctorate in 1992 from the University of Memphis. From October 2008 to March 2009, he was detailed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) where he served as a temporary Board member. From 2000 to 2008, Judge Parchert served at the BIA as a senior panel attorney, team leader, and attorney advisor. From 1994 to 2000, he worked at the former Immigration and Naturalization Service as appellate counsel, associate general counsel, and trial attorney. From 1992 to 1994, he worked as a judicial law clerk for the San Antonio and Seattle immigration courts. Judge Parchert is a member of the Tennessee Bar.
Detailed data on decisions by Judge Parchert were examined for the period covering fiscal years 2017 through 2022. During this period, court records show that Judge Parchert decided 1864 asylum claims on their merits. Of these, he granted asylum for 576, granted 37 other types of relief, and denied relief to 1251. Converted to percentage terms, Parchert denied 67.1 percent and granted 32.9 percent of asylum cases (including forms of relief other than asylum).
Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Parchert's denial rate each fiscal year over this recent period. (Rates for years with less than 25 decisions are not shown.)
Compared to Judge Parchert's denial rate of 67.1 percent, Immigration Court judges across the country denied 63.8 percent of asylum claims during this same period. Judges at the Seattle Immigration Court where Judge Parchert decided these cases denied asylum 71.3 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Judge Parchert'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 (83%) are denied asylum. In contrast, a significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful. In the case of Judge Parchert, 13% were not represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole, about 16.7% 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 Parchert came from Mexico. Individuals from this country made up 41.3% of his caseload. Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Parchert were: Guatemala (23.7%), El Salvador (13.6%), Honduras (7.5%), India (3.1%). 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 (18.2%), Guatemala (16.0%), Honduras (14.6%), Mexico (10.5%), China (7.5%), India (4.5%), Cuba (2.5%), Venezuela (2.1%), Ecuador (2.1%), Nicaragua (1.9%), Haiti (1.7%), Cameroon (1.5%), Nepal (1.2%).