Politics

Immigration Has Such A Giant Backlog, Asylum Seekers Can Work For YEARS While Being Processed

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

The U.S. immigration system is in such disarray, and backlogs are so large, that asylum seekers are now able to legally work in the U.S. for two years as of Oct. 5.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, “effective October 5, 2016, USCIS has increased the validity period for initial or renewal Employment Authorization Documents for asylum applicants from one year to two years,” in an Oct. 6 press release. USCIS is contending with many delays and inefficiencies as evidenced with 524,014 people waiting for citizenship that may not get it in time to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Before the USCIS announcement, work permits for asylum-seekers were only valid for one year, but the backlog forced the organization to double the length of the work permit. Federal immigration courts are also increasingly backlogged with some cases not being decided until 2020.

Immigration reform and border control is a central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, especially in light of GOP nominee Donald Trump proposing a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Trump is promising that Mexico will pay for the construction of the border wall if he is elected president.

The GOP nominee is also committing himself to getting rid of the Obama administration’s executive orders that give temporary amnesty to many illegal immigrants. The New York billionaire is even endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council, a union made up of Border Patrol agents, as well as the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, whose members are thousands of ICE employees.

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