This is the first part of a 4 part article which will
run from Tuesday to Friday of this week. Tomorrow's installment
will discuss the "Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007" and
its proposal to restrict U.S.C.I.S. fee hikes and FBI name checks.
Parts 3 and 4 will deal with the right of asylee derivatives to
travel back to their homelands and new hope for the Dream Act respectively.
By Alan Lee, Esq.†‡
Part I - In Support of I J Chase
In our view, Immigration Judge Jeffrey Chase of the New York Executive
Office for Immigration Review has been pilloried enough and should
be allowed to return to the bench very shortly if he has the desire
to do so. According to the New York Times of March 13, 2007, he
has been relieved of his courtroom duties and reassigned to a desk
job following a rebuke by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last
year and its recent recommendation that the Board of Immigration
Appeals scrutinize all of his decisions which are pending on appeal.
At issue was his perceived hostility to asylum cases, and in one
case a plethora of errors and omissions. Judge Chase may have gone
overboard on some of his cases, but his record of decisions in asylum
cases has been in line and even more generous than the national
average. The TRAC immigration project, a non-partisan and independent
organization supported by the JEHT Foundation, Ford Foundation and
Syracuse University which attempts to discover detailed information
from the government and make it available to Congress and the public,
has posted statistics on immigration judge asylum approvals and
denials nationwide from 2000 to the early months of 2005, and noted
a national grant average of 38.1 %. In that period, Judge Chase's
grant rate was 42%. That information shows that aliens with asylum
cases before Judge Chase have had a true shot at being granted asylum.
This contrasts with other New York judges with approval rates of
9.6%, 4.1% and 5.7% during that same period of time. I would personally
rather sit with my clients in front of a judge who may throw fits
but is capable of adjudicating along Judge Chase's line than before
one who is polite and mannered but has such an awful record against
approving asylum cases. From my personal experience in litigating
cases before Judge Chase, he is an effective judge who has exhibited
impartiality, paid attention to proceedings, is obviously very bright,
and has even suggested solutions favorable to the alien when available.
His pet peeve appears to be cases in which he believes that the
aliens before him are still being helped by smugglers and the unlicensed
consultants who provide them with false stories for asylum claims.
While the occasions on which he has not controlled himself cannot
be condoned, he has from all reports learned his lesson and should
soon be allowed return to the bench.