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October 23, 2018

Long Odds and Slow Lines Await Migrant Caravan at US Border
By Elliot Spagat

Those seeking asylum in the U.S. undergo an initial interview on the American side in which they try to show they have a “credible fear” of harm in their home countries. Seventy-seven percent of migrants passed their credible-fear screenings between September 2017 and last June, the latest figures available. After that, asylum seekers may be held in immigration jails until their cases are decided by an immigration judge, which can take as little as a month or two. Many other immigrants are released into the U.S., often with ankle-monitoring bracelets, while they await a ruling that can take years — a practice the Trump administration has condemned as “catch and release.” The odds of ultimate success for the caravan members appear slim. Mexicans fared worst among the 10 countries that sent the largest numbers of asylum seekers from 2012 to 2017, with a denial rate of 88 percent, according to an analysis of public records by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse. El Salvadorans were close behind with a 79 percent denial rate, followed by Hondurans at 78 percent and Guatemalans at 75 percent.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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