Immigration Judge Ratings: What They Mean for Your Case


If you find yourself facing an immigration judge with a low rating or a potential bias against immigrants, it can be a challenging situation. This blog aim to shed light on immigration judge ratings, how you can access them, and what factors to consider when evaluating their impact on your case.

Immigration judges, like all human beings, are subject to their own beliefs and perspectives, which can influence their decision-making. Unlike a jury or a panel of judges, your case will be decided by a single judge, making their individual beliefs and the stance of the prosecutor (Assistant Chief Counsel) crucial factors in the outcome of your case. While it should ideally be a fair and impartial process, the reality is that imperfections exist within these procedures.

To gain valuable insights into immigration judge ratings, you can turn to the extensive information provided by Syracuse University in New York. They have compiled detailed statistics on immigration judges’ decisions, specifically focusing on the number of Asylum cases granted and denied. By examining these statistics, you can better understand the judge’s track record and assess its potential impact on your own case. This website, accessible via the following link: Judge-by-Judge Asylum Decisions in Immigration Courts, equips you with crucial information about judges, including their approval and denial rates. You can easily search for judges by location or name to access their ratings and case history. Armed with these insights, you can make more informed decisions and take the necessary steps regarding your case.

It’s important to note that these ratings offer a purely mathematical perspective based on the cases a judge has reviewed. However, they do not provide the context of the specific types of cases they have presided over in the past. Immigration courts follow a management system where senior judges and court administrators assign cases based on their expertise and experience in certain areas. For example, judges may handle cases primarily from Latin American countries, where individuals often seek economic opportunities, or cases involving gang violence that are challenging to qualify as protected grounds for Asylum.

It is crucial to understand that the statistical percentage alone does not guarantee the outcome of your case. If a judge has a high denial rating for cases from a specific region, it does not automatically mean your case will be denied. Your case should be evaluated based on its individual merits and the specific facts surrounding your situation. The facts of your case, such as the events you have experienced and the conditions in your home country, are the primary factors influencing the outcome of your case.

The second priority in assessing the strength of your case lies in the preparation and presentation of your case with the assistance of an immigration lawyer. This includes gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, obtaining statements, and preparing you to testify in court. Your attorney will guide you through the process, communicate with the government attorney, and ensure your active participation in the proceedings.

While considering judge ratings is important, it should be viewed as one of many factors in your case. The judge’s background, political affiliation, and previous case record should be weighed against the facts and preparation of your case. However, the facts of your case remain the most critical element, followed by how well you and your attorney prepare and present your case. These factors hold more weight than the judge’s background or statistics alone.

It is also worth noting that immigration judges are appointed by the executive branch, specifically the Attorney General, and are employees of the Department of Justice. Each presidential administration appoints immigration judges, and their biographies, including the appointing attorney general and their career background, are publicly available. Understanding the judge’s background and previous career can provide insights into their predispositions.

The location of your court can also have statistical implications, but it should not be the sole consideration. While it is true that judges and prosecutors often reside near the courts where they work, it does not guarantee their alignment with the political sentiment of the state. Statistically, judges and government attorneys in “red” states, which typically voted for conservative candidates like Trump, may lean towards more conservative positions. Conversely, judges and government attorneys in “blue” states, which typically voted against Trump, may have a more sympathetic approach toward immigrants. However, it is essential to remember that statistical tendencies do not determine individual judgments.

If you find yourself with a judge you feel may be unsympathetic to your case, it is not ethical for your attorney to advise you to move to another state solely for the purpose of changing courts. However, if you have legitimate reasons to relocate, such as job opportunities or personal circumstances, you can request a change of venue. This process requires careful consideration, as it may temporarily halt the progress of your Asylum application, specifically regarding your Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Consult with your attorney to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Recommended reading:

10 Things You Should Know About Evidence for Asylum Case

How to Expedite Asylum Interview or Hearing

What Happens at a Master Hearing and Individual Hearing in Immigration Court?

If you’re facing an immigration court case and need expert guidance, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with I.S. Law Firm. Our experienced immigration attorney will evaluate your case, provide personalized advice, and help you understand the potential implications of judge ratings in your specific situation. To schedule a consultation, please visit the following link: Schedule a Consultation – I.S. Law Firm, PLLC. We are here to assist you throughout the immigration process and fight for your rights.