Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ban Hammer

Study finds wide disparity in asylum denial

1 post in this topic

Recommended Posts

WASHINGTON - Immigration judges vary sharply in their willingness to grant asylum to foreigners seeking to live in the United States — with denial rates ranging from 10 percent to more than 98 percent, according to researchers who reviewed federal figures.

A foreigner seeking asylum in the United States is far more likely to be rejected if the case is decided by Judge Mahlon Hanson in Miami than by some other judges in the system, according to the study being released Monday.

The study is based on data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a Justice Department agency which oversees immigration courts, for 1994-99 and 2000-05. The report was done by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which collects and analyzes federal government data.

During the 1994-99 period, Judge William F. Jankun of New York rejected 98.3 percent of his 1,375 cases. Multiple efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.

"The goal of any court system is evenhanded justice. It is an important goal and the results certainly raise questions about whether that goal is being achieved," said Susan Long, a Syracuse University professor and co-director of the clearinghouse, which is based at Syracuse.

From the 2000 budget year through the first months of the 2005 budget year, Hanson had the highest proportion of denials, rejecting 96.7 percent of his 1,118 decisions in cases in which the asylum-seeker had a lawyer.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales began a review of the immigration courts in January after chastising some of the immigration judges for "intemperate or even abusive" conduct toward asylum seekers. Department spokesman Charles Miller said the review is continuing.

But the study said the court data "document that this problem has existed for at least a decade and that it persists even when the applicants being compared appear to be quite similar."

The U.S. grants asylum to people who fear persecution if they are returned to their countries because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The U.S. granted asylum to 13,520 people in 2005, according to Citizenship and Immigration Services statistics.

New York Judge Margaret McManus rejected just 9.8 percent of her 1,638 cases in which the asylum-seeker had a lawyer. The median denial rate was 65 percent.

Hanson previously worked for the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service. McManus was a staff lawyer with the Legal Aid Society's immigration unit.

Hanson's legal assistant referred calls for comment to the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Aides to McManus could not be reached.

Rates were worse for asylum-seekers without lawyers, with 93 percent losing their case compared to 64 percent for those with a lawyer. The denial rate for all asylum seekers was 69 percent.

People from El Salvador, Mexico and Haiti were denied asylum 80 percent of the time; asylum-seekers from Afghanistan and Burma were denied asylum 30 percent of the time.

Previous studies have shown similar disparities suggesting a lack of standards for judges, said Gideon Aranoff, president of Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which assists refugees. He said the consistent results suggest judges lack standards and without them, success in asylum claims is a matter of "luck of the draw."

Although immigration is a top issue in Congress this election year, asylum is getting scant attention in the debate over illegal immigrants and guest workers.


* ~ * Charles * ~ *

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -

Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
  • Create New...