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Center for Immigration Studies
October 26, 2020

Astounding Asylum Numbers in DOS Refugee Report for FY 2021
By Andrew R. Arthur

On top of the AOs' asylum workload, according to DOS, there were 549,724 asylum claims (as of June 30) pending with the nation's 520 IJs (the latter as of October 20 new IJs were on-boarded on October 9, meaning that the number in June was actually closer to 500). Again, that means that each IJ is assigned 1,057 asylum cases. As a former IJ, I generally completed one to two asylum cases per day, and at best IJs can hear approximately four (assuming that the alien shows up and is ready to go at the merits hearing date, which does not always happen). Consequently, as the Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse (TRAC) reported, in 2019 asylum applicants in immigration court on average waited almost three years for their cases to be decided, time that they will spend in the United States and a timeframe that does not count appeals. And, again, the DOS report does not count any new asylum cases that have been filed in the interim in immigration court.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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