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The Nation
January 18, 2017

These Jurisdictions Have Become ‘Asylum Free Zones’
By John Washington

Given the incoming Trump administration’s anti-immigrant and openly racist rhetoric, as well as the likely appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general, the plight of asylum seekers may get worse. “If Sessions has his way,” Baluarte told me, “he could turn every jurisdiction in the country into an asylum-free zone.” Recently released data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) show that as the number of asylum seekers has gone up by almost 20 percent in the last year, to over 22,000 cases, the denial rate rose to 57 percent. In 2003, the number of asylum decisions reached nearly 36,000, with a denial rate of 62 percent, though it wasn’t until 2008 that a systematic study was conducted looking into geographic discrepancies. TRAC also reported that the number of asylum seekers representing themselves continues to increase, with 9 out of 10 self-represented claims being denied.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
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