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International Business Times
July 20, 2015

Immigration Reform 2015: US Asylum Backlogs Soaring, Testing Patience For Those Fleeing Persecution
By Brianna Lee


Backlogs are steep in both of the main channels that immigrants have to petition for asylum. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, handles "affirmative" asylum cases, by which immigrants apply for asylum within a year of entering the country. As of March, USCIS had 82,000 pending asylum cases, up from around 9,000 in 2011. Those figures were dwarfed by traffic numbers in the "defensive" asylum process, by which immigrants slated for deportation argued their cases before an immigration judge. As of June 2015, there were 451,848 cases on immigration court dockets across the country waiting to be heard, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a Syracuse University research center that monitors immigration court backlogs. That number includes a wide range of immigration cases, such as status adjustments, deportation defense and asylum hearings alike. Thatís a 43,000 increase from the year before, and a 107,000 increase from fiscal year 2013.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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