Emotional Directives of Legal Status Changes: A Study on Immigration Status Grants
Judicial decision making has provided new frameworks to examine the effects of extra-legal factors. Yet, immigration courts have not received much scholarly attention. This thesis examines the conditions under which non-citizen applicants likely to receive successful immigration status change. In particular, I analyze the effects of sympathy on the decision making of immigration court judges. Using a convenience sample of the El Paso Area, I evaluate immigrant applications for status changes to identify which factors illicit sympathetic and thus more likely to receive their status change requests. I find that younger applicants and Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants are more likely to receive their status change. Because some of the factors that would solicit sympathy are already institutionalized within federal programs such as DACA, additional extra-legal factors do not seem to have systematic effects on the likelihood of successful status changes.
Galindo, Perla Molina, "Emotional Directives of Legal Status Changes: A Study on Immigration Status Grants" (2018). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10828160.