Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Last Friday, many of us had the opportunity to hear Stephen Manning give us the rundown on immigration court in Atlanta. It's a disheartening state of affairs.
Today, I see that immigration journalist Elise Foley has taken up the fight with her piece: Here’s Why Atlanta Is One Of The Worst Places To Be An Undocumented Immigrant.
What is it that makes Atlanta so bad?
[Immigration judges in Atlanta] denied asylum 98 percent of the time in the 2015 fiscal year, the highest rate of any immigration court that heard more than five cases. Eighty-eight percent of cases that went before Atlanta immigration courts ended with a removal order. That’s way over the national average: In the country as a whole, immigration judges denied about 52 percent of asylum claims, and 69 percent of cases resulted in a deportation order.
Atlanta immigration judges have been accused of bullying children, badgering domestic violence victims and setting standards for relief and asylum that lawyers say are next to impossible to meet. Given Atlanta immigration judges’ reluctance to grant asylum, some immigrants who fear returning to their native countries don’t even pursue it.
As if the courts weren't bad enough, more people were apprehended under Operation Border Guardian in the city of Atlanta than any other city in the United States. In 2014, those apprehensions included 68,500 minors traveling without their parents. Foley details the stories of three of those children.
The article is as comprehensive as it is compelling. I encourage you all to give it a read.