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Federal judges have incoherent system of asylum review: report

[JURIST] US federal judges grant and deny asylum to asylum seekers at a disparate rate in the United States, according a study [text] by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) [official website] released Sunday. The report examined nearly 300,000 immigration cases from 1994-2005, and found that ten percent of immigration judges denied asylum in 86 percent of their cases, while another ten percent of immigration judges denied asylum in only 34 percent of their cases. In addition, the study showed distinct variations in asylum denials for different nationalities, reporting that more than 80 percent of asylum seekers from Haiti and El Salvador were denied asylum, but less than 30 percent of asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Myanmar were denied.

A similar study [materials] by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom [official website] last year found that more than 80 percent of Cubans and 60 percent of Iraqis were granted asylum, but again found that asylum seekers from Haiti and El Salvador fared significantly worse. In January, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called for a comprehensive review of the immigration courts [ABC News report], saying that some immigration judges were abusive and not respectful of persons appearing before them. The New York Times has more.

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