Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-cfpbc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-22T14:23:22.865Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

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
Affiliation:
University of Nevada, Reno
Logan A. Yelderman
Affiliation:
Prairie View A & M University, Texas
Matthew T. Huss
Affiliation:
Creighton University, Omaha
Jason A. Cantone
Affiliation:
George Mason University, Virginia
Get access

Summary

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.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

8 CFR § 214.14(b)(1).Google Scholar
8 CFR § 208.16.Google Scholar
8 CFR § 204.2 (c).Google Scholar
8 USC § 1101 (a).Google Scholar
8 USC § 1101(f).Google Scholar
8 USC § 1101(f).Google Scholar
8 USC § 1182(a)(1)(A)(iv).Google Scholar
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
American Psychological Association. (2013). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology. American Psychologist, 68(1), 719. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029889.Google Scholar
Balsamo, D. N., & Kapoor, R. (2016). Competency in immigration proceedings. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 44(1), 132134.Google Scholar
Barber-Rioja, V., Akinsulure-Smith, A. M. & Vendzules, S. (2022). Mental health evaluations in immigration court: A guide for mental health and legal professionals. NYU Press.Google Scholar
Barber-Rioja, V. & Garcia-Mansilla, A. (2019). Special considerations when conducting forensic psychological evaluations for immigration court. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75(11), 20492059. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22863.Google Scholar
Barber-Rioja, V. & Garcia-Mansilla, A. (2023). Forensic mental health assessment in immigration court. In DeMatteo, D. & Scherr, K. C. (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of psychology and law. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Barber-Rioja, V., & Rosenfeld, B. (2018). Addressing linguistic and cultural differences in the forensic interview. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 17(4), 377386. https://doi.org/10.1080/14999013.2018.1495280.Google Scholar
Basterra, M., Trumbull, E., & Solano-Flores, G. (Eds.) (2011). Cultural validity in assessment: Addressing linguistic and cultural diversity. Routledge.Google Scholar
Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, I. I. (2016). Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public Health Reports, 118(4), 293302. https://doi.org/10.1093/phr/118.4.293.Google Scholar
Boehnlein, J., Westermeyer, J., & Scalco, M. (2015). Supplementary Module 11: Immigrants and refugees. In Lewis-Fernández, R, Aggarwal, N, Hinton, L, Hinton, D., & Kirmayer, L (Eds.), DSM-5® Handbook on the Cultural Formulation Interview (pp. 173181). American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
Bouza, J., Camacho-Thompson, D. E., Carlo, G., et al. (2018). The science is clear: Separating families has long-term damaging psychological and health consequences for children, families, and communities. Society for Research in Child Development. www.srcd.org/.Google Scholar
Capps, R., Fix, M., & Zong, J. (2016). A profile of US children with unauthorized immigrant Parents. Migration Policy Institute. www.migrationpolicy.org/research/profile-us-children-unauthorized-immigrant-parents.Google Scholar
Cohen, J. (2001). Errors of recall and credibility: Can omissions and discrepancies in successive statements reasonably be said to undermine credibility of testimony? Medico-Legal Journal, 69(1), 2534. https://doi.org/10.1258/rsmmlj.69.1.25.Google Scholar
De Jesús-Rentas, G., Boehnlein, J., & Sparr, L. (2010). Central American victims of gang violence as asylum seekers: The role of the forensic expert. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38(4), 490498.Google Scholar
Department of Justice (2012). FY 2021. Statistical Yearbook. www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2021.Google Scholar
Department of Justice (2018). FY 2018. Statistical Yearbook. Retrieved from www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2018.Google Scholar
Dusky v. United States, 362 US 402 (1960).Google Scholar
Evans III, F. B., & Hass, A. G. (2018). Forensic psychological assessment in immigration court: A guidebook for evidence-based and ethical practice. Routledge.Google Scholar
Executive Office of Immigration Review (2013). Phase 1 Guidance. Department of Justice,Washington, DC. http://immigrationreports.files.wordpress.com/.Google Scholar
Filone, S., & DeMatteo, D. (2017). Testimonial inconsistencies, adverse credibility determinations, and asylum adjudication in the United States. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 3(2), 202213. https://doi.org/10.1037/tps0000112.Google Scholar
Filone, S., & King, C. M. (2015). The emerging standard of competence in immigration removal proceedings: A review for forensic mental health professionals. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21(1), 6071. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000032.Google Scholar
Frederick, L. T. L., Lui, P., & Kalibatseva, Z. (2020). Multicultural issues in psychological assessment. In Selbom, M. & Suhr, J. A. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of clinical assessment and diagnosis (pp. 2537). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Frumkin, I. B., & Friedland, J. (1995). Forensic evaluations in immigration cases: Evolving issues. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 13(4), 477489. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2370130404.Google Scholar
Galatzer-Levy, I. R., & Bryant, R. A. (2013). 636,120 ways to have posttraumatic stress disorder. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(6), 651662. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691613504115.Google Scholar
Hake, B. A., & Banks, D. L. (2005). The Hake hardship scale: A quantitative system for assessment of hardship in immigration cases based on a statistical analysis of AAO decisions. Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, 10, 403420.Google Scholar
Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2–3), 6183. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X0999152X.Google Scholar
Herlihy, J., Scragg, P., & Turner, S. (2002). Discrepancies in autobiographical memories – Implications for the assessment of asylum seekers: Repeated interviews study. British Medical Journal, 324(7333), 324327. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7333.324.Google Scholar
Hinton, D. E., & Lewis‐Fernández, R. (2011). The cross-cultural validity of posttraumatic stress disorder: Implications for DSM-5. Depression and Anxiety, 28(9), 783801. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.20753.Google Scholar
INA § 212(h).Google Scholar
INA § 240A(b)(1).Google Scholar
In re M-A-M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 474 (B. I. A. 2011).Google Scholar
Kagan, M. (2002). Is truth in the eye of the beholder-objective credibility assessment in refugee status determination. Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, 17(3), 367415.Google Scholar
Kissane, M., Szymanski, L., Upthegrove, R., & Katona, C. (2014). Complex posttraumatic stress disorder in traumatised asylum seekers: A pilot study. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 28(3), 137144. https://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632014000300001.Google Scholar
Koch, W. K., Nader, R., & Harring, (2009). The science and pseudoscience of assessing psychological injuries. In Skeem, J., Douglas, K., & Lilienfeld, S. (Eds.), Psychological science in the courtroom: Controversies and consensus (pp. 263283). Guilford.Google Scholar
Lopez, S. R., & Guarnaccia, P. J. (2000). Cultural psychopathology: Uncovering the social world of mental illness. Annual Review of Psychology, 51(1), 571598. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.51.1.571.Google Scholar
Lustig, S. L., Kureshi, S., Delucchi, K. L., Iacopino, V., & Morse, S. C. (2008). Asylum grant rates following medical evaluations of maltreatment among political asylum applicants in the United States. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 10(1), 715. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-007-9056-8.Google Scholar
Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018).Google Scholar
Matter of M-A-M, 25 I&N Dec. (BIA 2011).Google Scholar
Matter of Ngai, 19 I&N Dec. 245, BIA 1984.Google Scholar
Matto, M., McNiel, D. E., & Binder, R. L. (2019). A systematic approach to the detection of false PTSD. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 47(3), 325334.Google Scholar
Marouf, F. E. (2014). Incompetent but deportable: The case for a right to mental competence in removal proceedings. Hastings Law Journal, 65(4), 929998.Google Scholar
Melton, G. B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N. G. et al. (2018). Psychological evaluations for the courts: A handbook for mental health professionals and lawyers. The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
Musalo, K., Meffert, S. M., & Abdo, A. O. (2010). The role of mental health professionals in political asylum processing. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 38(4), 479489.Google Scholar
Neuman, G. L. (2005). Discretionary deportation. Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, 20(4), 611655.Google Scholar
New York Immigrant Representation Study (2011). Accessing Justice, The Availability and Adequacy of Counsel in Immigration Proceedings. https://larc.cardozo.yu.edu/faculty-articles/109/.Google Scholar
Niang v. Gonzales, 492 F.3d 505, 512 (4th Cir. 2007).Google Scholar
Pew Research Center (2020). Key Findings About US Immigrants. www.pewresearch.org/.Google Scholar
Reynolds, C. R. & Suzuki, L. A. (2013). Bias in psychological assessment: An empirical review and recommendations. In Graham, J. R., Naglieri, J. A., & Weiner, I. B (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Assessment psychology (pp. 82113). John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
Soto, A., Bottone, R., Waters, J., et al. (2021). Charting a new regional course of action: The complex motivations and costs of Central American Migration. Migration Policy Institute. www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/publications/mpi-wfp-mit_migration-motivations-costs_exec-sum-eng_final.pdf.Google Scholar
USCIS Policy Manual Vol. 1 Part E Ch. 8 (2021). Discretionary analysis, US Citizenship and Immigration Services. www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-1-part-e-chapter-8#:~:text=The%20discretionary%20analysis%20involves%20the,reliance%20on%20biases%20or%20assumptions.Google Scholar
US Government Accountability Office (2016). Asylum: Variation exists in outcomes of applications across immigration courts and judges. www.gao.gov/products/gao-17-72#:~:text=After%20statistically%20controlling%20for%20certain,across%20immigration%20courts%20and%20judges.Google Scholar
Vallières, F., Ceannt, R., Daccache, F., et al. (2018). ICD-11 PTSD and complex PTSD amongst Syrian refugees in Lebanon: The factor structure and the clinical utility of the International Trauma Questionnaire. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 138(6), 547557. https://doi.org/10.1111/acps.12973.Google Scholar
Varela, J. G., Boccaccini, M. T., Gonzalez, J. E., Gharagozioo, L., & Johnson, S. M. (2011). Do defense attorney referrals for competence to stand trial evaluations depend on whether the client speaks English or Spanish? Law and Human Behavior, 35(6), 501511. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-010-9253-1.Google Scholar
Wilson, A., Prokop, N. H. & Robins, S. (2015) Addressing all heads of the hydra: Reframing safeguards for mentally impaired detainees in immigration removal proceedings. New York Review of Law & Social Change, 39(2), 313368.Google Scholar
World Health Organization. (2018). International classification of diseases for mortality and morbidity statistics (11th Revision). https://icd.who.int/browse11/l-m/en.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×