The backlogs and delays at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Asylum Office and the immigration courts have reached new record highs, as long-standing challenges and pandemic-related adjournments continue, leaving refugees waiting years to have their asylum applications resolved and reunite their separated families. The Biden administration must take urgent action to address these escalating challenges.
Over the last year, Human Rights First has repeatedly detailed, and shared with the Biden administration, recommendations for addressing these backlogs and strengthening asylum processing so that it is more fair, timely, humane, and orderly. This paper updates prior recommendations, taking into account steps already taken by the Biden administration as well as missteps that thwart due process and refugee protection.