19 San Diego L. Rev. 91 (1981-82)
Restructuring the Asylum Process

handle is hein.journals/sanlr19 and id is 99 raw text is: Restructuring the Asylum Process

This article critically analyzes present and proposed asylum
procedures. The author directs his attention to three significant
problems in the asylum process: Structural defects within both
the INS and the State Department's Bureau of Human Rights and
Humanitarian Affairs (BHRHA); the conflict between the
bureaucractic goals of the INS and legal norms; and finally, the
maintenance of a foreign policy contrary to eliminating asylum
flight. The author proposes significant changes in the asylum pro-
cess, which would meet the organizational objectives of the INS
while protecting asylum applicants from the erroneous denial of
their claims. The author further proposes the elimination of the
role of the district director and the BHRHA in the asylum process;
the maintenance of federal and administrative review; and a
change in the burden and standard of proof to require an appli-
cant to prove a prima facie case for asylum subject to INS
As the United States increasingly becomes a country of first
asylum, particularly for people of the Caribbean and Central
America, the conflict between our political ideology and bureau-
cratic goals in the treatment of persons seeking entry into the
United States as their first country of asylum becomes more ap-
parent. Our inability to establish a policy on matters pertaining
to these people, however, does not arise merely from the vicissi-
tudes of public opinion or changes in federal administration.
Rather, it primarily arises from the traditional structural defects
within the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the
* Member of the Florida Bar. B-.A Syracuse, 1971; MA University of Califor-
nia, Berkeley, 1973; J.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1976. Mr. Kurzban is a
partner in the law firm of Kurzban & Kurzban, PA, Miami, Florida, and an active
member of the Immigration and Nationality Lawyers' Association.
December 1981  Vol. 19  No. 1

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