‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Has Less than One Percent Asylum Grant Rate

‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Has Less than One Percent Asylum Grant Rate

Less than one percent of asylum requests have been granted since implementation of the Remain in Mexico policy, also known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), according to a Sunday-published report at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported:

It has been almost a year since the government began sending asylum seekers back to Mexico and only 11 people have been granted asylum. That accounts for a grant rate of less than one percent

Data shows that as of September, of the more than 47,000 people in the program, fewer than 10,000 had completed their cases. Of that group, 5,085 cases were denied while 4,471 cases were dismissed without a decision being made — mostly on procedural grounds.

Only 11 cases — or 0.1 percent of all completed cases — resulted in asylum being granted, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

The above-mentioned statistics reflect largely incomplete asylum application processes, explained Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel at the left-wing American Immigration Council, via Twitter:

I hate saying this, but I don’t think this is the right analysis.

Yes, as of Sept. 30, just 11 people were granted relief out of 9,556 completed MPP cases.

But it’s likely that only a few hundred people had reached the relief stage.

[fixed 1st tweet]https://t.co/8iwwqFLoHy

— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) December 15, 2019

“Asylum grant rate” used to mean % of grants out of applications decided on the merits.

In 2018, EOIR redefined grant rate as % of grants out of applications resolved, even if not on the merits.

This article uses % of grants out of completed cases, even if no application filed.

— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) December 15, 2019

I don’t think any of the three definitions of asylum grant rate are per se wrong. Each has their uses. But given how few people had actually had their asylum case heard by a judge through Sept., I think the definition used in the article is not necessarily the right analysis—yet.

— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) December 15, 2019

The number of asylum decisions rose in 2019 (67,067) relative to 2018, and in 2018 (42,262) relative to previous years, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Prior to fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the highest number of asylum decisions — indicative of the number of asylum applications submitted by migrants — rendered in a given year over the past 15 years was 35,783 in 2003.

Under the “Remain in Mexico” policy, migrants arriving at the southern border seeking asylum must remain in Mexico until their court dates to adjudicate their claims.

Recent years have seen asylum applicants increasingly claim to have a “credible fear of torture” in their home countries as part of their asylum requests.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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