Immigration Controls: The Search for Workable Policies in Germany and the United States

By Kay Hailbronner; David Martin et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The New Techniques for Managing High-Volume Asylum Systems

Stephen Legomskya

A s the world refugee population has grown, governments around the world have had to balance humanitarian aspirations against economic, social, law enforcement, and political imperatives. In the United States and several other Western nations, the primary battleground has been political asylum. It is in this arena that national values have been most severely tested, for the sheer numbers of asylum claimants have raised the stakes for all concerned.

Recent efforts to reconcile these frequently conflicting goals have generally focused more on process than on substance. This is not surprising given that, as discussed below, the number of asylum claimants has far outpaced the available adjudicative resources. War, poverty, and human rights violations have become routine components of daily life. At the same time, technological advances in both communication and transportation have made migration a realistic option for more and more of the world's victims. The inevitable result -- growing numbers of asylum seekers -- collides with the increased public awareness of finite national resources and unmet needs.

This article identifies, evaluates, and synthesizes the major asylum process reforms recently adopted or considered in the

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Notes for this chapter begin on page 152.

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