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This literature review seeks to examine the legal procedures of gaining citizenship in the United States, with special emphasis on the challenges posed by the legal processes imposed by the courts on immigrants especially asylum seekers and refugees. Unlike during the first hundred years when immigration was unrestricted, stringent legal measures have been taken with a view to control the rate of influx of immigrants. The presence of these laws however, has not resulted in reduced influx of immigrants.
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Asylum seekers and refugees are basically seeking protection because of conflict in their countries of origin. Both categories are required by law to prove a well founded fear in order to be granted asylum. An evaluation of the legislative systems established by the department of justice to control influx rates and to hear appeal cases reveals that they have not been genuine in their cases. These problems have been occasioned by inefficiencies in the court systems according to this review.
The evidence of this is the overcrowding in immigration courts due to a huge backlog of unresolved cases. Manion attributes this to incompetence on the side of the judges and alleged faults and accusations within the immigration courts. Manion indicates that immigration judges cannot exercise discretion in the cases they deal with and therefore resulting in ‘extensive flaws in the management of the court systems and the subsequent removal by Board of Immigration appeals. In addition, there was outright disparity in the rate at which immigration judges granted asylum.
The review has given much emphasis to the plight of the asylum seekers at the expense of shedding light on how the various courts that deal with immigration relate to each other. Alternatives to seeking court solutions to refugee and asylum immigration problems have not been given. Additionally, asylum seeking and refugee status being international issues should be addressed by the government at political level.
This review will be useful to the department of justice and the immigration courts. The cases already completed and those that are pending need reviewing in order for streamlining of the laws to be done. Finally, a body should be formed to regularly evaluate and review the performance of immigration courts and competence of judges, the recommendations of which will help in formulating helpful reforms in the immigration courts.