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March 22, 2018

Felipe Molina Mendoza, Durham Resident Set for Deportation Last Year, Gets Another Shot at Asylum
By Sarah Willets

Immigration judges in Charlotte have gained a reputation for toughness, in part because of how infrequently they approve asylum applications. Pettinato, for example, approved about 17 percent of asylum cases that came before him from 2012–17, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In that same time period, across all immigration courts, 88 percent of asylum seekers from Mexico were denied—the highest denial rate among the ten nationalities with the most asylum cases. Asylum denials are on the rise nationwide. At the same time, the number of asylum seekers without legal representation is also increasing. According to TRAC, 21 percent of asylum seekers in fiscal year 2017 did not have a lawyer, up from about 13 percent ten years before. Applicants with an attorney are five times more likely to win their case than those without, TRAC says.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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