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NEW FEDERAL LAW TO OVERHAUL THE BROKEN US ASYLUM SYSTEM

September 13, 2021

The Biden administration has proposed a federal regulation to be published August 20, 2021 that would overhaul the asylum system in an attempt to settle asylum claims faster and help improve  the immigration court backlog. DHS and Dept of Justice announced that they will be publishing the new federal regulation and invite public comment by the end of this week.

The proposed new Asylum overhaul rule would give asylum officers more authority by allowing them to hear and decide applications — cases that are usually assigned to immigration judges — when migrants present at the US southern border. It doesn’t apply to unaccompanied children and individuals already residing in the United States.

The US immigration court system has been bogged down by more than 1 million pending cases, which can take years to complete. The proposed new Asylum overhaul rule could alleviate the backlog by allowing asylum officers to adjudicate claims. If a case is denied, the individual may request review by an immigration judge under a streamlined process, according to DHS and DOJ.

USCIS, which oversees asylum processing, estimated that it needs to hire around 800 new employees and spend approximately $180 million to implement the process for roughly 75,000 cases annually, according to text of the new federal Asylum regulation.

The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register Friday and be open to public comment for 60 days.