Atlanta immigration Judge Earle B. Wilson has one of the highest asylum denial rates in the country. This month he is on a rotation at the New York Immigration Court, and legal advocates are speaking out.
Our Atlanta-based program manager, Ariel Prado, has observed hearings conducted by Judge Wilson and witnessed his disregard for asylum seekers. In light of Judge Wilson’s current rotation, the New York Immigration Coalition reached out to Ariel Prado, for more information on the judge.
Here is Ariel’s statement in its entirety:
“Judge Earle B. Wilson has terrorized Atlanta’s immigrant communities of color. His de facto policy of ‘no asylum’ has sent hundreds of bona fide refugees back to the places they have sacrificed everything to escape, where they will almost assuredly face further harm and death. His tenure at the Atlanta Immigration Court can be characterized by a blatant disregard for the rule of law. From 2012 to 2017, he issued the third highest number of asylum denials in the country—over 1,000—which represents a denial rate of 97.8%.
“Judge Wilson is known for setting unlawful evidentiary standards, making it nearly impossible for families who fled their home countries with little more than their children in their arms and clothes on their backs to navigate the immigration court system and receive a just outcome. When it comes to asylum cases for survivors of sexual violence, Judge Wilson is dismissive and cruel. He has repeatedly and erroneously argued that sexual violence cannot be considered persecution. He has considered aloud that the experience of rape must have been ‘admittedly awkward’ while a survivor of sexual violence sobbed silently in his courtroom. In his role as an immigration judge, he unflinchingly plays the role of institutional abuser, further traumatizing individuals who have already suffered so much.
“Judge Earle B. Wilson has used his position to belittle survivors of violence and issue decisions based on his personal biases rather than the law. There is no question that he is unfit to adjudicate asylum cases and should resign.”
Both quantitative data and anecdotal evidence suggest that Judge Wilson is not upholding his duty as an immigration judge.