Every year many people who reside in a country fraught with war or persecution seek asylum in the U.S. They make the dangerous journey from their country of origin to the U.S. in hopes of being able to live and work legally in the U.S. as refugees. Still, this process is not always as quick and efficient as one might hope.
The problem with asylum in the U.S.
Fiscal year 2022 saw almost 380,00 migrants seek asylum. These migrants were told to report to ICE offices to obtain a court date. The process was instituted by the current administration in order to quicker process more migrants who were being kept in holding facilities.
However, the process leaves some migrants in limbo, wherein they are told to report to an ICE office but are not given a court date to apply for asylum and receive a work permit. Instead, these migrants are told to go back to the ICE office at a later date. They can stay in the U.S. until their case is resolved, but if their parole period runs out, they may not be able to ask for asylum and work permits even though they are not facing formal deportation proceedings.
Are current asylum policies in need of change?
One report states that the decades old asylum program is under severe pressure as record numbers of migrants seek shelter and work in the U.S. wherein the asylum system has not been updated in 20 years.
There is a significant backlog in the processing of asylum cases. A migrant seeking asylum can wait as many as 4.2 years before finally getting a hearing. Current law only grants migrants seeking asylum work permits for 180 days after their petition is filed. This means it could be years before an asylum seeker can work legally in the U.S.
Courts are overburdened with asylum cases, and asylum seekers only want to live and work in the U.S. legally. It is a long and frustrating process. Still, it is hoped that the process will be adjusted in a way that allows legitimate asylum seekers to stay and work legally in the U.S.