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34 - Decision-Making in Immigration Court

from Part V - Other Legal Decision-Making

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2024

Monica K. Miller
University of Nevada, Reno
Logan A. Yelderman
Prairie View A & M University, Texas
Matthew T. Huss
Creighton University, Omaha
Jason A. Cantone
George Mason University, Virginia
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Immigrants in the United States without proper documentation face the risk of being subject to deportation (“removal”) proceedings and being detained. Decisions about deportation and immigration detention are made by immigration judges (IJs) in immigration courts (ICs) around the country. Some applications are also decided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and are characterized as “benefits” rather than relief. Psychological evidence is a key component of many forms of removal relief and benefits (e.g., asylum applications, hardship, competency). Decisions made by IJs, immigration attorneys, and mental health professionals in IC can have serious consequences for immigrants, including deportation and detention. This chapter reviews some of the psychological issues involved in immigration law and the legal decision-making involved in removal relief applications. It also outlines the ways in which forensic mental health assessments can aid IJs in their decision-making process and offers recommendations for research and policy in this area.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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