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Georgia Immigration Courts Make Getting Asylum Tough

Posted on Apr 23, 2014

A recently released United States government report shows that the federal immigration courts in Georgia have some of the highest denial rates in the country.

According to the report, Atlanta immigration judges only granted asylum for 24 cases. They denied 195 cases, which equated to an 89 percent denial rate. The Stewart Detention Center in South Georgia had a higher denial rate. It only approved one case out of the 55 cases they heard, resulting in a 98 percent denial rate.

These rates are significantly higher than the national counterparts. National denial rates are an average of 47 percent where 9,923 cases were approved, and 8,893 cases were denied.

These figures came from the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review’s Fiscal Year 2013 Statistics Yearbook. The report was not clear on why the asylum seekers were approved or denied.

Asylum seekers go through a stringent process. It starts by the applicant explaining why she has suffered persecution in her home country. If she has not experienced persecution, she may instead state why she fears she could experience persecution based on her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a social group.

As Savannah immigration lawyers, we understand how frightening it can be to escape a country for fear of being persecuted and try to seek asylum in a foreign nation. For many people, it can be a matter of life or death. Refugees often escape from violent regions.

Still, fraud is a major problem in asylum seeker applications. One of the most common reasons immigration judges in Savannah have said that they deny asylum applications is because the application was copied verbatim, making it clear that it was not honest or accurate. This is one possible reason why the denial rate could be higher than average.

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Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.

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