Ian Peck and Alan Wright in the Texas Lawbook: Texas Lawyers Open Doors for Asylum Seekers


The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice granted asylum to nearly 30,000 people in 2012. According to a study by Syracuse University, 11 percent of refugees nationwide gained asylum status without legal representation. For those who had an attorney, 54 percent gained asylum – a 500 percent higher likelihood of gaining asylum than those without a lawyer.

Recent statistics released by the Executive Office for Immigration Review suggest Texas is doing worse than the rest of the nation. The Dallas Immigration Court, for example, only admitted asylum to 36 percent of those seeking it – almost a 20 percent lower rate than the national average.

Last year, Fort Worth bankruptcy partner Ian Peck of Haynes and Boone, LLP also completed his first asylum case. It involved a woman who fled her home country after extensive persecution in retaliation to her assistance to an indigenous group. The Human Rights Initiative of North Texas referred the case to Haynes and Boone. Peck raised his hand...

Alan Wright, a Dallas appellate lawyer at Haynes and Boone, who has worked on asylum cases since the 1980s, said, “There may be only three or four experts in the world who are truly ‘experts.’ Being able to find them and coordinate their schedules to get them to Dallas, Texas, on a date can be hard to do.”

Excerpted from the Texas Lawbook. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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