Attorney General William Barr Promotes Immigration Judges With High Rates of Denial in Asylum Claims

On August 23rd, 2019, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that U.S. Attorney General William Barr is disproportionately promoting immigration judges with unusually high denial rates in asylum claims. This news comes at the same time that the Trump Administration is putting a number of additional barriers in front of asylum seekers — including putting some migrants on the fast track to deportation, making asylum claims more difficult for most Central Americans, and forcing many migrants to remain in Mexico while they await their immigration court date.  

Six Judges Promoted to the Immigration Appeals Court — All Have High Denial Rates

In recent days, the Trump Administration promoted six new immigration judges to the immigration appeals court. Serving on this court is an incredibly important function, as the court sets key precedence that will control much of the deportation policy in the United States. Undoubtedly, there are many immigration judges across the country who are well-qualified for a promotion to this court. 

Unfortunately, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that there is good reason to believe that the Trump Administration is not promoting immigration judges based solely on merit alone. All six of the judges that were promoted have well above average denial rates in asylum cases. For reference, one of the judges promoted denied more than 95 percent of the denial cases he heard. This is despite the fact that the national average is closer to 50 percent. Two of the six denied protection in virtually all cases involving allegations of domestic violence — which, tragically, has long been a goal of this administration.  

Systematic Bias: The Administration is Trying to Tilt the Process Against Immigrants

Our country deserves fair immigration courts. Sadly, there are serious concerns about what is happening to these courts under this presidential administration. Earlier this month, we discussed an op-ed written by a former immigration judge who resigned because she felt that she could not, morally, carry out the Trump Administration’s unjust, anti-immigrant policies.

The loss of good and fair-minded immigration judges is a serious problem. The other side of that problem is an administration that only wants to appoint and promote immigration judges who will consistently rule against immigration. Immigration judges are not supposed to be political — sadly, the Trump Administration appears set on tilting the process against immigrants, especially asylum seekers. Reform is needed to make immigration courts work better. 

Request a Confidential Immigration Consultation in Southern California

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our top-rated Los Angeles asylum attorney is a strong, aggressive advocate for immigrant rights. We have the skills, training, and tenacity to handle the complete range of asylum cases. If you or your loved one is preparing to file for asylum in Southern California or you have any other questions about asylum claims or immigration law, we can help. Call our Los Angeles office now at (213) 262-2000 for a fully private initial consultation.