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November 2, 2016

Seeking asylum in U.S. immigration courts is a lot like playing roulette
By Symone Jackson, Daniel F. Jimenez, and Maria Marcelina Crystal Vega

If youíre applying for asylum in Eloy, Arizona, for example, good luck. Each of the four judges at that court, whose decisions were examined in the Syracuse study, denied more than 94% of the asylum cases that came before them. Similarly, each of the five immigration judges in Miami denied over 92% of the requests they received. The research group responsible for the study, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), obtained the data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) through Freedom of Information Act requests. They received asylum decision stats for 207 judges in 48 immigration courts. Judges arenít the only thing influencing asylum decisions, according to TRAC. The absence of legal representation is also a predictor. Nationally, nearly 15% of asylum seekers were found to have no legal representation in immigration courts, and the vast majority (89%) of those asylum cases were denied.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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