In seeking to understand the variation in asylum grant rates by immigration judges (IJs), we apply a variation of the attitudinal model that we modify by incorporating a cognitive model of decision making, arguing that some pieces of information before IJs are treated objectively while others are treated subjectively. This model allows us to account for informational cues that influence decisions while assessing the impact of national interests and human rights conditions. We find that IJ policy predispositions play a dominant role, and that liberal IJs respond to applicant characteristics differently than conservatives, but also that the law constrains decision making.