• Immigration Law

    Posted on October 5th, 2010

    Written by sslates


    A filing deadline that went into effect in 1998, effectively blocks asylum for foreigners who didn’t apply for asylum within one year after they arrived in the United States.  Since that time, approximately 21,000 refugees have had their asylum applications rejected because they failed to file an application before the deadline.  That information comes from a study published in the Social Science Research Network.

    The study has been conducted by law professors from Georgetown and Temple Universities.  The study coincides with a separate report published last week by Human Rights First.  According to the report, the deadline has increased delays and costs for asylum cases pending in immigration courts.   Judges have become distracted by the clog in the system due to delayed cases, and they have been left with little time to ponder over the merits of asylum applications, many of them filed by refugees who face a serious threat to their life if they’re forced to return to their countries.

    The deadline was imposed by Congress in 1996 as part of a general overhaul of immigration law.  According to the study, out of about 304,000 asylum applications that were presented during the 11 years since 1998, approximately 93,000 cases were filed after the one-year deadline for filing of applications expired.  By comparing statistics of application rejections with those that were accepted, the study found that more than 15,700 claims involving more than 21,000 refugees would likely have been approved if they had been filed  before the deadline.

    Even more disturbingly to Orange County immigration lawyers, the backlog seems to involve a race angle.  The study found that there were serious differences in the likelihood of being accepted or rejected depending on the home country of the applicant.  For instance, Iraqis who filed applications late were less likely to be rejected, compared to Guatemalans.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 10:00 am and is filed under Immigration Law. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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