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Students at Newhouse School of Communication Create New Designs for TRAC’s Asylum Data

Published Jun 3, 2022

TRAC extends its gratitude to students at the Newhouse School of Communication who created a series of data visualizations of asylum outcome data to share online and in print during this past semester.

Alexa Kroin, Lucinda Clare Strol, and Zuzanna Mlynarczyk—three undergraduate students in the Newhouse School of Public Communications—worked with one of TRAC’s faculty members, Dr. Austin Kocher, to develop a clean, consistent, and professional series of images that show the outcome of asylum cases by immigration court, as well as a poster that summarizes asylum outcomes for the 30 busiest immigration courts in the country. This topic is important to TRAC and to the public, because the outcome of asylum cases varies widely from court-to-court.

The students were faced with the challenge of accurately representing asylum data in a succinct and visually interesting way for an online audience while also providing sufficient context for the data. The students were also faced with the challenge of developing a format that could be easily updated and shared, since TRAC’s asylum data is updated monthly. In our view, the students succeeded in meeting these challenges head-on, demonstrated competence and professionalism throughout the project, and contributed to TRAC’s mission to make government data more accessible to public.

TRAC expresses our appreciation to the students’ teacher, Professor Renée Stevens, Associate Professor of Visual Communications in the Newhouse School of Public Communications, for connecting the students to TRAC.

A sample of the images produced by the students can be seen below.

Figure 1. Percent of Asylum Applications Denied at the Memphis Immigration Court.
Figure 2. Percent of Asylum Applications Denied at the San Francisco Immigration Court.
Figure 3. Percent of Asylum Applications Denied at the Hartford Immigration Court.
Figure 4. Poster of Asylum Outcomes at 30 Busiest Immigration Courts.

TRAC would also like to thank our legal extern, Veronica Devries from the Syracuse University School of Law, for advancing our government transparency work through the FOIA Project’s Brief Bank work, and Michelle Tynan, graduate student in Food Studies, for mapping TRAC’s data on ICE’s Alternatives to Detention program.

TRAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit data research center affiliated with the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School of Management, both at Syracuse University. For more information, to subscribe, or to donate, contact trac@syr.edu or call 315-443-3563.