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Center for Immigration Studies
December 5, 2016

A Faux Analysis of Immigration Judge Asylum Cases by GAO
By Dan Cadman

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) the congressional "fraud, waste, and abuse" watchdog published a report last month entitled "Asylum: Variation Exists in Outcomes of Applications Across Immigration Courts and Judges". The report details the significant difference in approval and denial rates among immigration judges for asylum claims filed before them in immigration court by aliens seeking to avoid removal. Speaking of waste, it's not clear to me why GAO felt the need to spend taxpayer dollars on the analysis, because this data is collected and reported on regularly by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). In fact, four days prior to the November 14 release of the GAO report, TRAC had done just that. Both the GAO and TRAC reports clearly reflect the vast disparity between judges, and between certain regions of the country. New York City, for example, is extremely liberal in granting asylum, whereas Omaha and Atlanta are quite the reverse.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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