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Immigration Judges Deny More Asylum Seekers


According to a new study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, the number of “credible fear of prosecution” asylum cases has significantly dropped this year.

Researchers found that immigration judges found asylum seeks had provided enough evidence to claim they had a credible fear in 14.7 percent of cases heard since January, which is about half as often as the same period last year (2017). Credible fear reviews apply to many immigrant families now arriving at the Mexican border.

The reduction of favorable rulings derives from quicker deportations and pressure by the Trump administration to limit immigration. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on immigration judges to raise “the threshold standard of proof for credible fear interviews” and criticized the award of asylum in many alleged meritless cases. In June, Sessions ordered immigration judges to cease giving asylum to most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence from seeking refuge in the United States.

The demand from the federal government has produced various outcomes, depending on the judge and region. Since October 2015, for instance, at least half of credible reviews found the asylum seeker had established credible fear of persecution if returned to their home country when overseen by the Immigration Courts in Baltimore, Maryland (50 percent), Chicago, Illinois (52 percent), and even Arlington, Virginia (60 percent.) However, only one to two percent were found to have credible fear when their review occurred in Immigration Courts based in Lumpkin, Georgia (one percent) and Atlanta, Georgia (two percent).

In summary, it is evident that the immense level of disparity that now exists in asylum adjudication is inconsistent with our nation’s commitment to equal justice for all.

For more information about asylum, contact our San Jose immigration lawyer at Verma Law Firm today.

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