Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Role of Mental Health Evaluations in Immigration Court Proceedings

A recent article by Seattle Times staff reporter Esmy Jimenez highlights the role of mental health evaluations in immigration proceedings. As the author explains, 

For some people in immigration proceedings, a psychosocial assessment or evaluation is that key document. In many cases, it can help verify someone’s story in the absence of physical evidence, showing immigration officials why someone is in need of a new home country, whether it’s an undocumented mother from Honduras filing for asylum or a victim of torture fleeing from the Philippines.

The article features Henry Hwang, the directing attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project who explains how courts rely on mental health evaluations in analyzing trauma and related aspects of asylum and other types of cases. It also cites to a study published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health that found that 89% of asylum cases that had mental health evaluations were successful.


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