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Refugee Roulette


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Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy Acknowledgments Introduction Part I Refugee Roulette 1 The Asylum Process 2 The Regional Asylum Offices 3 The Immigration Courts 4 The Board of Immigration Appeals 5 The United States Courts of Appeals 6 Conclusions and Policy RecommendationsPart II International, Judicial, and Scholarly Perspectives 7 Refugee Roulette in the Canadian Casino Audrey Macklin 8 Refugee Roulette: A UK Perspective Robert Thomas 9 Consistency, Credibility, and Culture Bruce J. Einhorn 10 Asylum in a Different Voice? Judging Immigration Claims and Gender Carrie Menkel-Meadow 11 Refugee Roulette in an Administrative Law Context: The Deja Vu of Decisional Disparities in Agency Adjudication Margaret H. Taylor 12 Learning to Live with Unequal Justice: Asylum and the Limits to Consistency Steven H. Legomsky 13 The Counsel Conundrum: Effective Representation in Immigration Proceedings M. Margaret McKeown and Allegra McLeod Methodological Appendix Ninth Circuit Appendix Index About the Authors

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A disturbing look at how asylum seekers fare in America

About the Author

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. 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. 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.


"Refugee Roulette reveals how far the nation's asylum adjudication system has veered from its traditional moorings of equal justice under law and protection for those in danger of political persecution. The authors bring impressive experience, care, and seasoned judgment to the table. Refugee Roulette should serve as a blueprint for action by policymakers and a new administration." - Doris Meissner, Former Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization, Service and Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute (MPI) "This pathbreaking study of the asylum system in the United States, coupled with the comparative commentary, reveals the enormous challenges of making fair decisions about asylum claims when the underlying facts are far away and decisions rest on assessments of credibility-of people who often do not speak the language of the judge. At its core, this work raises the profound question of when a system of decision making qualifies to be called a 'court.' " - Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School "A clarion call for a new humanitarian and transparent system that must be brought into line with our supposed democratic principles, particularly in this era of Obama reform. A must-read for students of immigration law and international human rights." - David Brotherton, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York "Insiders have long bemoaned the arbitrary and unfair outcomes of the U.S. asylum system. Finally we have a meticulous and compelling study that lays bare the indisputable problems and essential remedies for all to see." - Jacqueline Bhabha, Jeremiah Smith Jnr Lecturer, Harvard Law School, Director, University Committee on Human Rights Studies

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