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NBC News
January 31, 2020

Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans seeking U.S. asylum face long immigration backlog
By Alexandra Villarreal

Carlos Marcano says members of Venezuela’s intelligence agency kidnapped and beat him last year after he organized and marched in a political protest. “I thought they would kill me,” Marcano, 42, told NBC News. He tried to report his persecution, but the situation only got more dire when his attackers found out. So he fled Venezuela and traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border, where he waited in line to apply for asylum in the United States. Marcano is part of a larger swell of Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans who are relying on the U.S. immigration court system as a lifeline. Between September 2018 and December 2019, they became the fastest growing nationalities caught up in the courts’ million-case backlog, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. The number of Cubans with pending cases more than quadrupled, and cases involving Venezuelans and Nicaraguans also surged.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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