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Bolante, Asylum and Immigration Judges

Former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-joc" Bolante, who happens to be male not female, has been in the news since 2004—more because of his absence, rather than presence. Very un-politician behavior =)

To understand why he is being sought, was cited for contempt by the Senate in 2005 and is now seeking asylum in the United States, read "Billions in Farm Funds Used for Arroyo Campaign" by Luz Rimban (PCIJ, 28 September 2005) and "Bolante finally falls, but not for fertilizer funds scam" by Alecks Pabico (Inside PCIJ, 12 July 2006).

You may also want to check out the website of Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), an organization associated with Syracuse University, which just released a report on "The Asylum Process" and a primer on "Asylum Law, Asylum Seekers and Refugees."

A separate report on "Immigration Judges" reveals that of 1,678 Filipinos who sought asylum in the United States and whose cases were decided from 1994-1999, 91.1 percent were denied. Of the 631 asylum cases involving Filipinos where decisions were handed down from 2000-2005, 75.8 percent were rejected. The average rate of denial for all nationalities from 1994-2005 is 65 percent.

There is also a database on "Individual Judges," which makes it possible to look at the percentage of asylum requests denied by judges like D.D. Sitgraves (who would've presided over Bolante's case if his change of venue had not been granted) and the judges in Chicago (where his case was transferred).

Category: The Philippines

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