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February 2, 2021

Trump Didn't Actually Accomplish Much on Immigration
By Justin Fox

Asylum is available only to people who are already in the U.S. or at the border, and there are two ways to claim it: by “affirmatively” filling out an application form and submitting it to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service or “defensively” making your case in removal proceedings before an immigration judge after (1) the USCIS turns down your application and refers you there, (2) you are accused of immigration violations or (3) you try to enter the U.S. without proper documents and are found to have a “credible fear of persecution or This rise in the rejection rate started before Trump took office and may have something to do with what asylum claimants from Central America and Mexico are fleeing — often gang violence rather than the government oppression, ethnic persecution and civil wars that asylum claims are traditionally based upon. From 2017 onward, Trump administration policies and Trump-appointed immigration judges played a role, too. One telling statistic from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: in fiscal year 2020, 76.7% of asylum claimants from China won their court cases, while only 12.7% of those from Honduras did.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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