Judge Amiena Khan
FY 2015 - 2020, New York Immigration Court
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Judge Khan in December 2010. Judge Khan received a bachelor of arts degree in 1983 from New York University Washington Square College of Arts and Science and a juris doctorate in 1987 from the New York Law School. From 1992 to December 2010, she was in private practice in New York, specializing in immigration law. From 1987 to 1992, she was in private practice in New York, practicing general litigation. Judge Khan is a member of the New York State Bar.
Deciding Asylum Cases
Figure 1: Percent of Asylum Matters Denied
Detailed data on Judge Khan decisions were examined for the period covering
fiscal years 2015 through 2020. During this period, Judge
Khan is recorded as deciding 512 asylum claims on their merits. Of these,
she granted 454, gave no conditional grants, and denied 58.
Converted to percentage terms, Khan denied 11.3 percent and granted (including
conditional grants) 88.7 percent. Figure 1 provides a comparison of Judge Khan'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 Khan's denial rate of 11.3 percent, nationally
during this same period, immigration court judges denied 66.7 percent
of asylum claims. In the New York Immigration Court where Judge Khan
was based, judges there denied asylum 32.4 percent of the time. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Comparing Denial Rates (percents)
Judge Khan can also be ranked compared to each of the 526 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 526 - where 1 represented the highest denial percent and 526
represented the lowest - Judge Khan here receives a rank of 515. That is 514
judges denied asylum at higher rates, and 11 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.
Figure 3: Asylum Seeker Had Representation
If an asylum seeker is not represented by an
attorney, almost all (88%) of them are denied asylum. In contrast, a
significantly higher proportion of represented asylum seekers are successful.
In the case of Judge Khan, 1.4% were not
represented by an attorney. See Figure 3. For the nation as a whole,
about 19% 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 Khan, the largest group of asylum seekers appearing before her came
from China. Individuals from this nation made up 45.7 % of her caseload.
Other nationalities in descending order of frequency appearing before Judge Khan were:
Nepal (7.2 %), Honduras (6.8%), India (6.8%), El Salvador (5.9%).
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 (18.1%), Guatemala (15.1%), Honduras (14.7%), Mexico (11.8%), China (10.2%), India (3.7%), Cuba (2.5%), Haiti (1.8%), Cameroon (1.5%), Venezuela (1.3%), Nepal (1.3%), Nicaragua (1.1%), Bangladesh (1.0%).