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Mother Jones
October 11, 2017

Trump’s Immigration Proposal Could Make It Radically Harder to Get Asylum
By Noah Lanard

David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, believes it’s “absurd” to expect asylum seekers to be able to prove their claims soon after they arrive. “Many asylees have to flee under cover of darkness or swim through streams to escape their persecutors,” he wrote in July. “They often set out without any concept of where they will end up, let alone with documentary evidence in their pockets.” In the 75 percent of cases where a “credible fear” of persecution is established, the asylum seeker then faces the more difficult task of convincing an immigration judge to allow him or her to stay in the United States indefinitely. In the 2016 fiscal year, 57 percent of asylum claims were denied, according to data from the nonpartisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Due to a 632,000-case backlog in immigration courts, asylum seekers often spend months, and sometimes more than a year, in detention while they wait for their cases to be decided. (The Supreme Court will decide this term whether detaining asylum seekers without a bond hearing is constitutional.)

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2017
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