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The Sacramento Bee
July 15, 2018

New U.S. asylum rules bring confusion, fear and few options for immigrants
By Anita Chabria, Rosalio Ahumada, Thaddeus Miller And Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado

Currently, the average wait time for pending cases in California immigration courts is 715 days, according to data collected by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), and there is a backlog of more than 300,000 affirmative asylum cases in the U.S., according to federal statistics. In 2017, more than 30,000 asylum cases were heard in immigration courts, with nearly 62 percent of claims denied, TRAC data shows. That year had the largest number of cases decided since 2005, and was the fifth consecutive year that denial rates have risen. In 2012, before the rise in denials began, 44.5 percent of people won their asylum fight. Denial rates are higher for those from Mexico and Central America, according to TRAC data. During the six years from 2012 to 2017, Mexican nationals had 14,688 asylum cases heard in U.S. immigration courts with 88 percent of claims denied. In the same period, 79 percent of the 15,667 claimants from El Salvador were denied, as were 78 percent of those from Honduras and about 75 percent of those from Guatemala. Both of those countries had about 11,000 cases heard during the time frame. R

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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