Putting TRAC to Work
  Policy and Public Interest Groups
Southern Poverty Law Center
October 3, 2018

No End in Sight

Many detained asylum seekers endure prolonged detention only to discover the outcome of their case is dramatically tipped in one direction even before the judge hears it. Nationwide, the judge assigned to the asylum seeker changed the odds of receiving asylum by over 56 percentage points, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, which analyzed 48 courts from FY 2010 through FY 2016. In other words, the chances of receiving asylum are often a matter of luck. As TRAC data from FY 2012-17 demonstrates, an individual had little chance of receiving asylum at the Stewart Immigration Court in Georgia, where every judge had a denial rate greater than 95 percent. If the same asylum seeker appeared before the Miami Immigration Court, however, his or her case may have been heard by a judge with a denial rate as low as 52.6 percent or as high as 85.7 percent.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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