This ethnographic book enhances our understanding of asylum screening, an area of immigration that is often overlooked and remains under-researched. Often perceived as a one-dimensional function of static state power, it is here revealed that asylum decisions at borders respond to a complex cultural construction, saturated by a meta-message of disbelief, denial and moral panics. She demonstrates that immigration officers’ work patterns, behaviour and decisions are influenced by such stereotyping, which has led to asylum narratives either being labelled as socially acceptable or facing rejection. In parallel with law enforcement, the author argues, this process replicates a professional world of categorization and control, forged within an autonomous immigration service subculture. This timely work will appeal to students and scholars of migration studies, race and ethnic studies, sociology, law and policy studies.