TRAC Adds Asylum Reports on Nearly 100 New Immigration Judges
(08 Nov 2023) TRAC released its latest series of Immigration Judge reports, updated with asylum grant and denial rates by individual Judges through the end of FY 2023 (September 2023). These annual reports examine asylum decisions for individual Immigration Judges in each of the 64 current immigration courts.

A total of 34 Immigration Courts had judges newly covered by TRAC’s Judge series. Among these locations, the largest number, with 11 new Judge reports in total, occurred for New York City, followed by the Santa Ana Immigration Court in California (10 new reports) and the Hyattsville Immigration Court based in Virginia (9 new reports) third. The Houston - Greenspoint (8), and San Francisco (7) Immigration Courts rounded out the top five courts with the most new judges who made the list.

For these judges with first-time reports, the number of asylum decisions ranged from a low of 100 (TRAC’s minimum threshold) to a maximum of 547. Judge Richard Bailey of the Newark Immigration Court decided the largest number (547) of these cases. Four other Judges have decided 400 more including: Michelle Kahan of Boston, John Decure of New York - DET, Christine Reis of Miami, and Lettricea L. Jefferson-Webb of San Francisco.

Wide differences in judge asylum denial rates are evident across judges in these new reports – ranging from a high of 94.8% denied by Judge Erica Hughes in Houston down to a low of 1.2% by Judge Chloe Dillon in San Francisco. This is, however, little different from the vast range in asylum denial rates among other judges who TRAC has reported on this year. The latest reports show asylum denial rates among non-first-time judges ranged from Judge Bruce Imbacuan in Houston who denied every single one of his 105 asylum cases down to a low of denying just 2.2% of her cases by Judge Shira Levine in San Francisco who has served there since October 2021.

During FY 2023, 123 immigration judges were commissioned. Just 21 judges out of these 123 made the list. None of the others had decided 100 or more asylum cases since their appointment. While it is uncommon to decide this many cases during the fiscal year of a judge’s appointment, Judges Adrian Roe and Lucero Saldana Mistry of Boston, both appointed in May 2023 and Judge Michelle A. Slayton of San Francisco, appointed in February 2023, already met the threshold having decided at least 100 asylum cases.

TRAC has been producing this annual series for many years. All reports in this series including earlier editions are available online. The earliest TRAC reports covered Immigration Judge asylum decisions dating back to FY 1994. The Court was smaller then with 193 individual Judges included in the series. The most recent coverage has grown to 732 reports. The latest FY 2023 judge-by-judge asylum decision reports are available here.

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