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Peter Spiro  | Jaya Ramji-Nogales


Panel to Feature Institute Co-Director's New Book Lives in the Balance

On Monday, September 15, at noon in Klein Hall Room 1C, Temple Law Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales and her co-authors, Profs. Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Philip G. Schrag of the Georgetown University Law Center, will present a talk based on their recently published book, Lives in the Balance

Although Americans generally think that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is focused only on preventing terrorism, one office within that agency has a humanitarian mission.  Its Asylum Office adjudicates applications from people fleeing persecution in their homelands.  Lives in the Balance is a careful empirical analysis of how Homeland Security decided these asylum cases over a recent fourteen-year period.  Day in and day out, asylum officers make decisions with life-or-death consequences: determining which applicants are telling the truth and are at risk of persecution in their home countries and which are ineligible for refugee status in America.  In Lives in the Balance, the authors analyze a database of 383,000 cases provided to them by the government in order to better understand the effect on grant rates of a host of factors unrelated to the merits of asylum claims.