Human Rights Institute

Refugee Roulette

This webpage provides information relating to the article Refugee Roulette:

Disparities in Asylum Adjudication, by Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Philip G. Schrag, 60 STANFORD L. REV. 295 (2007).

The article was published with the following commentaries:

Margaret H. Taylor, “Refugee Roulette in an Administrative Law Context: The Deja vu of Decisional Disparities in Agency Adjudication,” 60 Stanford Law Rev. 475

Stephen H. Legomsky, “Learning to Live with Unequal Justice: Asylum and the Limits on Consistency,” 60 Stanford Law Rev. 413


The databases from which the article was drawn were too large to include in the article itself. They are linked from this page:

1. USCIS Asylum Office data:

Asylum officer decisions from 11 asylee-producing countries, by asylum officer. (Excel file)

Asylum Appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals, all circuits 2004. (Excel file)

Asylum Appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals, all circuits 2005. (Excel file)

2. Immigration Court data

Immigration Judge Decisions in Asylum Cases, January 2000 – August, 2004

Biographical information about Immigration Judges Active from January 2000 – August 2004

Crosstabulations and regression results:

3. Board of Immigration Appeals data

Board of Immigration Appeals Decisions in Asylum Appeals,

4. U.S. Court of Appeals data

Asylum Appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals, all circuits, 2004. (Excel file)

Asylum Appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals, all circuits, 2005. (Excel file)

Research Tools

Related articles written or co-authored by Andrew I. Schoenholtz:

Andrew I. Schoenholtz, "Refugee Protection in the United States Post-September 11th," 36 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 323 (2005).

Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Jonathan Jacobs, "The State of Asylum Representation: Ideas for Change," 16 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 739 (2002).

Susan F. Martin and Andrew I. Schoenholtz, "Asylum in Practice: Successes, Failures and the Challenges Ahead" 14 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 589 Spring (2000)

CALS Asylum Research Guide (contains many useful links for research in asylum cases)

Classroom Tools

A PowerPoint file that you can download here includes most of the graphs in the article (and some others) and may be used in classrooms without further permission from the authors. Please credit the authors, however. The graphs are in full color.

David Ngaruri Kenney and Philip G. Schrag, Asylum Denied: A Refugee’s Struggle for Safety in America (book describing the impact of an asylum denial on the life of a refugee who fled from torture and imprisonment in Africa)


New York Times article about this research

Legal Times article about this research


Information about the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Georgetown Law including the availability of graduate teaching fellowships

Information about the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University

On The Web

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