ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page

Immigration Daily


Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board



Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation


CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network




Connect to us

Make us Homepage



The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
© 1995-
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

The Little Things Mean a Lot

Rate this Entry

Over the years, I've attended many asylum interviews.* I notice that different Asylum Officers conduct the interviews in different ways.* While much of this is personal style, some of the differences strike me as something more.* I wonder whether these different interview techniques have any effect on the*decision.**Below are*some of the differences I've noticed, and some thoughts about them:

- Some officers type their notes; others write the notes by hand.* Also, some officers*seemingly write down every word the applicant says, while others do not.* These differences are pretty substantive, and they speak to the need to record*asylum interviews.* *Asylum*Officer notes are not*only used to make decisions; they are sometimes used for impeachment purposes in Immigration Court.**Notes that are vague or illegible may not be admissible in court.* Also, if different officers are preparing their notes in different ways, it impacts the supervisor's ability to*review the Asylum Officer's decision.* If interviews were recorded, the officers could take whatever notes they*needed to make their decision, and we would still have an accurate record of the interview available to the supervisors and the Immigration Court.*

Some interview styles work better than others.

- Some officers make photocopies of original documents, even when we have submitted copies of those documents already.* Other officers rely on the copies we have submitted.* I don't think this makes much*difference in the case, but it is a bit odd.* Why does one officer trust the copies that we've submitted while another officer wants to make her own copies?*

- Some officers copy the lawyer's ID, others do not.* Again, I don't see how this makes any substantive difference, but I have no idea why one officer wants a copy of my photo ID while another has no need for it.

- Most Asylum Officers review the form I-589 with the applicant at the beginning of the interview and allow the applicant to make any needed corrections.* A few officers do not review the form and instead make corrections as needed throughout the interview.* This difference strikes me as substantive because it may affect how an officer views the applicant's credibility.* If the officer reviews the form at the beginning, and then the applicant's story is not consistent with the form, the officer can find him not credible.* However, if the officer does not review the form at the beginning of the interview, it is a bit unfair to base an adverse credibility finding on a statement that is not consistent with the form, since the applicant did not have an opportunity to correct any errors.

Well, those are a few differences I've noticed.* Whether they have any effect on decisions, I don't know.* But it seems to me that whenever decision makers use different techniques in their interviews, it is worth noting.

Originally posted on the Asylumist:

Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to Facebook Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to Twitter Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to Google Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to StumbleUpon Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to Reddit Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to Digg Submit "The Little Things Mean a Lot" to

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: