Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform

Voorkant

Through the Refugee Act of 1980, the United States offers the prospect of safety to people who flee to America to escape rape, torture, and even death in their native countries. In order to be granted asylum, however, an applicant must prove to an asylum officer or immigration judge that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her homeland. The chance of winning asylum should have little if anything to do with the personality of the official to whom a case is randomly assigned, but in a ground-breaking and shocking study, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Andrew I. Schoenholtz, and Philip G. Schrag learned that life-or-death asylum decisions are too frequently influenced by random factors relating to the decision makers. In many cases, the most important moment in an asylum case is the instant in which a clerk randomly assigns the application to an adjudicator. The system, in its current state, is like a game of chance.

Refugee Roulette is the first analysis of decisions at all four levels of the asylum adjudication process: the Department of Homeland Security, the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the United States Courts of Appeals. The data reveal tremendous disparities in asylum approval rates, even when different adjudicators in the same office each considered large numbers of applications from nationals of the same country. After providing a thorough empirical analysis, the authors make recommendations for future reform. Original essays by eight scholars and policy makers then discuss the authors’ research and recommendations

Contributors: Bruce Einhorn, Steven Legomsky, Audrey Macklin, M. Margaret McKeown, Allegra McLeod, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Margaret Taylor, and Robert Thomas.

 

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Inhoudsopgave

Introduction
1
The Asylum Process
11
The Regional Asylum Offices
17
The Immigration Courts
33
The Board of Immigration Appeals
61
The United States Courts of Appeals
77
Conclusions and Policy Recommendations
89
Refugee Roulette in the Canadian Casino
135
A UK Perspective
164
Consistency Credibility and Culture
187
Methodological Appendix
307
Ninth Circuit Appendix
327
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2011)

Jaya Ramji-Nogales is Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute for International Law and Public Policy at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.

Andrew I. Schoenholtz is Visiting Professor, Director of the Human Rights Institute, and Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Georgetown University Law Center. He is Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Philip G. Schrag is the Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law and Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Georgetown University Law Center.

Edward M. Kennedy was born in 1932. He was thrown out of Harvard University in 1951 for cheating, but he eventually returned and received a degree in 1956. He also attended the University of Virginia Law School. He was elected to the Senate in 1962, taking the seat that his brother John F. Kennedy had occupied before being elected President, and served for the next 47 years. His legislative achievements included bills to provide health insurance for children of the working poor, the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Meals on Wheels for the elderly, abortion clinic access, family leave, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He wrote the following books: My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D. C. and True Compass. He died from brain cancer on August 25, 2009 at the age of 77.

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