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December 6, 2017

Asylum seekers face steeper hurdles to remain in U.S.
By Monsy Alvarado

Data compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, a nonpartisan research group based at Syracuse University, show that the number of immigrants who have been granted asylum has increased since 2005, but that rejections have risen at an even faster rate. The data, released last week, show that nearly 62 percent of applicants were denied asylum last year. It was the fifth consecutive year that rejections have risen, and it marked a jump of 17.5 percentage points since 2012, when federal immigration judges denied 44.5 percent of applications. Other factors, including country of origin and access to legal representation, also appear to have a bearing on the outcome of the asylum application process, according to the figures. Immigrants from Central America were more likely to have their applications rejected, while those coming from parts of Africa and Asia fared much better. Meanwhile, the number of immigrants who navigate the asylum process without a lawyer rose to 20.6 percent in the last fiscal year from 15.8 percent in 2012. Several studies have shown that those with legal representation stand a much better chance of gaining asylum.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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