Divergent Asylum Outcomes
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on November 14 entitled “Asylum: Variation Exists in Outcomes of Applications Across Immigration Courts and Judges.” More than half a million asylum applications were reviewed to arrive at the conclusion in the title, i.e., that grants of asylum varied based on the court and the judge. However, the major factors influencing the outcome of the plea to avoid deportation depended on:
- Whether the plea was affirmative (made by the applicant while not already in deportation proceedings – usually upon arrival in the country) or defensive (made after being in deportation proceedings). Or
- Whether the asylum applicant was represented by a lawyer.