The mercy factory : refugees and the American asylum system /
Christopher J. Einolf.
Chicago : I.R. Dee, c2001.
xix, 263 p. ; 24 cm.
1566634008 (alk. paper)
More Details
Chicago : I.R. Dee, c2001.
1566634008 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 248-252) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Christopher J. Einolf is an accredited legal representative for asylum applicants and has acted behalf of more than three hundred refugees from over thirty-five different countries. He now works for the Pennsylvania Immigrant Resource Center a director of advocacy for children in INS detention
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-06-01:
Each year approximately 40,000 people arrive in the US illegally or with temporary visas, then seek to convince immigration officials that they should be allowed to reside in the US because they have well-founded fears of persecution. The criteria for proving a well-founded fear of persecution have become stricter since 1996, and this book examines the new legal travails of asylum seekers. Only about one-quarter of these asylum seekers are successful; the others are deported. Einolf, who describes himself as "an accredited legal representative," tells the stories of five of his African clients. Individual chapters cover persecution in their homelands, their arrival in the US, and various phases of their legal battles. In places the details of the cases become trivial (e.g., "the judge ... opened the proceedings by starting the courtroom tape recorder"). Nonetheless, this first-person account is riveting and cinematic in its ability to convey the drama of the asylum process. General readers will find the introduction and conclusion particularly useful in providing an overview of the legal aspects of this subject. All levels/collections. J. Hein University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire
Review Quotes
An important book...sheds a much needed light on the plight of asylum seekers.
A persecuting journey...packed with real life stories.
Einolf offers a gripping firsthand account of the challenges, terror, and exhileration of representing political asylum-seekers. The book vividly captures the work's life and death intensity.
The Mercy Factory powerfully documents how refugees are treated and mistreated when they seek refuge in the United States.
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, October 2001
Choice, June 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Publisher Fact Sheet
An insider's look at the American system of political asylum.
Long Description
Each year thousands of people come to the United States seeking protection ”more than 62,000 applied for asylum in 1998 alone. America is a country of immigrants with a proud tradition of welcoming refugees from persecution. Yet most Americans object to high levels of illegal immigration, and many feel that poor immigrants are a burden to the society. These conflicting views are played out in a complex system of asylum adjudication that has developed over the last twenty years. The Mercy Factory is the first book to examine that system. It does so by telling the stories of five refugees, following them from their experience of persecution in their home countries to their arrival in the United States and their progress through the barriers of the American immigration legal system. The stories are both tragic and inspiring, but they also illuminate the workings of the asylum system and the dilemmas often faced by immigration officials and judges who must make life or death decisions in limited time, with limited information at hand. Throughout his absorbing narrative, Mr. Einolf explains the basic law of asylum in layman's terms, examines the history of the asylum adjudication system, and suggests proposals for reform.
Long Description
In a pioneering book, Mr. Einolf examines the complex system of asylum adjudication in the United States, with its unspoken conflicting views of immigration, told through the stories of five refugees. Sheds a much-needed light on the plight of asylum seekers in the United States. --Layli Miller, Tahirih Justice Center
Main Description
The stories of five refugees illuminate the workings of the American asylum system and the dilemmas often faced by immigration officials and judges who must make life-or-death decisions in limited time.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xv
Asylum in the United Statesp. 3
Persecutionp. 22
Escapep. 48
Americap. 56
The Interviewp. 76
Courtp. 101
Safetyp. 135
The Mercy Factoryp. 146
Prison and Expedited Removalp. 171
The Future of Asylump. 203
Organizations That Assist Asylum Seekersp. 242
Approval Rates for Asylum Applications, by Countryp. 244
Bibliographyp. 248
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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