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The Los Angeles Times
December 24, 2016

They gambled, and lost
By Shashank Bengali

Like many Bangladeshi asylum seekers, Rasel planned to argue that he needed protection because he supported the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party, or BNP, the country’s largest opposition group, which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has hounded with growing ferocity since 2014. He was allowed into the United States but confined to a two-man cell at the Otay Detention Facility outside San Diego, until a date could be scheduled for him to plead his case before an immigration judge. Support stories like these The vast U.S. immigration court system has not been particularly kind to Bangladeshis. Only 13% of applicants from Bangladesh were granted asylum in the U.S. in the five-year period ending in September 2015, according to statistics from the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Rasel had other things working against him. His case was assigned to Judge Jesus Clemente, a former military prosecutor who has denied 93% of the asylum claims he has decided since 2011, one of the lowest rates among immigration judges, according to data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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