January 16, 2013
2012: A Record Year for Asylum Cases
TRAC Immigration reports that the odds of an asylum claim being denied in Immigration Court reached an historic low in FY 2012, with only 44.5 percent being turned down. Ten years ago, almost two out of three (62.6%) individuals seeking asylum lost their cases in similar actions. Twenty years ago fewer than one out of four (24.0%) asylum applicants won their cases, while three out of four (76.0%) lost.
Overall, the data indicate that a total of 11,939 individuals were awarded asylum last year, the highest number receiving asylum in Immigration Court proceedings since FY 2007. While the odds of winning a case have been improving, the number of asylum cases decided by Immigration Judges has fallen since 2003. In that year 35,782 asylum cases were heard — a high water mark for case decisions. By FY 2010, that number had fallen precipitously to just 19,445. Since then volumes have rebounded slightly: during FY 2012 there were 21,512 asylum cases decided.
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