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Independent Weekly
February 15, 2017

Felipe Molina Mendoza’s Story Shows How Arbitrary America’s Immigration System Can Be—And It’s Only Going to Get Worse
By Erica Hellerstein

Two years ago, Molina Mendoza applied for political asylum in the United States, claiming to have suffered homophobic abuse in his native Mexico. His application was heard—and denied—in an immigration court in Charlotte last year. Molina Mendoza's supporters say the decision was based more on the luck of the draw than the merits of his case: his judge, Barry J. Pettinato, denied almost 85 percent of the asylum requests that came before him between 2011 and 2016, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. By comparison, the national denial rate is 49.8 percent.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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