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Country Conditions in Central America and Asylum Decision-Making: Report from a January 2017 Workshop

37 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2017 Last revised: 6 Nov 2017

Jayesh Rathod

American University - Washington College of Law

Eric Hershberg

American University - Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS)

Dennis Stinchcomb

American University - Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS)

Date Written: April 1, 2017

Abstract

In recent years, cases involving Central American migrants, including unaccompanied children (UACs) and families, have inundated the U.S. immigration system. Many of these migrants have expressed a fear of persecution and have applied for asylum, initiating a resource and time-intensive adjudication process with high stakes. Since many of these claims rely on non-legal expertise – often relating to country conditions and/or mental health assessments – the influx of cases presents new opportunities for collaboration between social scientists and legal scholars. In order to foster the collaboration that could inform the equitable adjudication of these cases, a cross-disciplinary team at American University convened an international group of researchers and practitioners with expertise across three areas: 1) country conditions in Central America; 2) psychological assessment of asylum seekers; and 3) asylum adjudication and evolving jurisprudence on asylum law in the U.S. The workshop had multiple goals, including the development of cross-disciplinary professional networks, the articulation of plans for future research, and the identification of other collaborative efforts seeking to address challenges in asylum adjudication.

Keywords: Central America, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, asylum and refugee law, country conditions

Suggested Citation

Rathod, Jayesh and Hershberg, Eric and Stinchcomb, Dennis, Country Conditions in Central America and Asylum Decision-Making: Report from a January 2017 Workshop (April 1, 2017). CLALS Working Paper Series No. 15; American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2017-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954216

Jayesh Rathod (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Eric Hershberg

American University - Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Dennis Stinchcomb

American University - Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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