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The Impact of Nationality, Language, Gender and Age on Asylum Success: TRAC

December 07, 2021 (2 min read)

TRAC, Dec. 7, 2021

"Under the new Biden administration asylum seekers are seeing greater success in securing asylum in Immigration Court. While asylum grant rates declined during the Trump years to a low of just 29 percent in FY 2020, they climbed to 37 percent during FY 2021 after President Biden assumed office. This finding discussed in the first report of a two-part series, is examined in greater detail in this second report which focus on asylum success rates for different nationalities, languages, gender and age groups.

Most nationalities that have dominated asylum seekers during the last two decades experienced improved success rates in FY 2021. Among the countries where asylum seekers saw increasing asylum grant rates during FY 2021 were many from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Since language use does not always map directly onto nationality and may indicate belonging to minority social groups (e.g. indigenous groups in Central America), data on the recorded language of asylum seekers in Immigration Court provides an added level of insight into asylum cases. While asylum seekers over the last two decades came from over 200 countries, individuals spoke over 400 different languages.

Asylum grant rates were roughly the same for males and females during the last full year of the Trump administration. But females show an 11.0 percentage point rise in FY 2021, compared with just a 5.7 percentage point increase for males—about half the increase.

Juveniles have generally lower asylum grant rates than adults in Immigration Court data covering FY 2020. Young children in these Court records, however, showed increased success once President Biden assumed office, although still remaining below the grant rates for adults.

To read the full report, go to:

TRAC's accompanying free web-query tool allows interested readers to drill into these data further to examine how asylum decision outcomes in their state, particular Immigration Court, or specific hearing location may correspond with or differ from these national trends. Go to:

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