Asylum-seekers face steep odds in Miami

The Palm Beach Post reports the results of a study last year that showed Miami courts have the smallest percentage of asylum applications approved – 23 percent – compared to a 40 percent average nationwide.

“Our country has a legacy of providing due process to everyone,” says Judge Dana Marks of San Francisco, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges. “These are death penalty cases at times. If they are denied, some of these people are facing death. We are not providing that due process. It’s a very serious situation.”

Crackdowns by immigration officials and a spike in deporations since Sept. 11, 2001, have stoked political asylum applications. Of the nation’s 54 Immigration Courts, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the busiest. Miami judges alone decided 19,402 cases in fiscal years 2001 to 2006.

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