Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

Lives in the Balance

14 Years of Asylum Adjudication

Past Event
Friday, Jul 15, 2016
12:30 PM — 2:00 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

With the encouragement of Asylum Office Headquarters, Professors Andrew Schoenholtz (Georgetown University Law Center) and Jaya Ramji-Nogales (Temple University), along with their co-author, Philip G. Schrag (Georgetown), spent three years studying the asylum adjudication database of the Department of Homeland Security. This 383,000 case database, covering the period from 1995 through June 2009, is one of the world’s largest collections of data about adjudicated cases. The authors investigated patterns of adjudication nationwide and within each of the Department’s eight regional asylum offices. They also interviewed asylum officers from each of those offices. Their book, Lives in the Balance: Asylum Adjudication by the Department of Homeland Security, was published in 2014 by New York University Press.

The data revealed many surprising correlations, which Professors Ramji-Nogales and Schoenholtz will demonstrate visually during their slide show presentation.


  • Professor Andrew I. Schoenholtz
    Georgetown University Law Center
  • Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales
    Temple University