International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Working within the Asylum Advocacy Nexus: Epistemological Strategies for LGBT Country Condition Expert Witnesses
Nielan Barnes

Given the increasing numbers of LGBT asylum seekers migrating from countries with high levels of violence with impunity against sexual minorities to the US, this article asks ‘What is the role of country condition experts in LGBT asylum trails? Who is considered an expert and what methods and forms of evidence constitute ‘expert knowledge’?’ Using a qualitative comparative analysis of expert witness testimony on Mexico country conditions for 141 LGBT asylum trials, this article outlines epistemological strategies for providing successful country condition analysis by identifying the types of evidence, arguments and legal barriers that routinely emerge within the legal-policy frameworks provided by immigration and asylum law. This article advances applied and theoretical knowledge valuable to scholars, policy makers and advocates working on the topic of LGBTQ immigration and human rights.

Full Text: PDF