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October 10, 2018

Asylum seeker at Tacoma jail goes 50 days without food
By Lily Fowler

In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a ruling that makes it more difficult for victims of domestic and gang violence to gain asylum. And beginning this month, immigration judges will have to meet a quota of 700 cases completed a year. Judges could also get negative performance reviews if 15 percent of their decisions are overturned on appeal. “It allows [a] judge to spend much less time to look at the merits of the case. It becomes an assembly line,” Cho said. “This country is actively saying it is not a welcoming country for those fleeing persecution.” On Aug. 8, the National Association of Immigration Judges sent an official grievance to the Department of Justice over the changes. But even before Sessions announced the changes, the chances of gaining asylum were low. In 2017, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, at Syracuse University, 30,179 asylum cases were decided by judges — the largest number of cases since 2005. More than half, however — 61.8 percent of applicants — were denied asylum status.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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