The United States's commitment to protecting refugees is dying a slow death. Two developments have contributed to its demise. The first, widely heralded, is the United States Congress's evisceration of procedural safeguards such as judicial review. The second development is more insidious: expansion of the asylum law doctrine, which holds that changed country conditions can defeat an otherwise valid asylum claim. In an age in which democracy seems triumphant throughout the world, the combination of severely curtailed judicial review and mechanical application of the changed conditions doctrine relegates refugees, as well as asylum law itself, to an uncertain future.' This article argues that the rise of the changed country conditions doctrine stems from judicial and administrative confusion about both the role of both "subjective" and "objective" factors in asylum law and the nature of democratic transitions.
Peter Margulies, Democratic Transitions and the Future of Asylum Law, 71 U. Colo. L. Rev. 3, 50 (2000)