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New Data Track Asylum's Two-Track System

As the backlog of asylum cases balloons to 771,236 as of the end of October, and wait times stretch out for years, new asylum initiatives have created "two very different streams of asylum processing queues," with a "fast track" available to select applicants, according to new research published by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The TRAC report on individual immigration judges' denial rates of asylum claims shows wide disparities, with some denying some 15 or 16 percent of cases and others denying 95 percent or more.


Recent Biden administration initiatives such as the Dedicated Docket and the Asylum Officer Rule send select cases to the head of the line, the report found. Speeding up dispositions does not necessarily translate into mistaken outcomes, the report notes, but "not having sufficient time to ensure due process is adequately safeguarded obviously can." Research is sparse on how the new policies affect the quality of asylum decisions. "As the country heads full throttle into expediting asylum cases, more needs to be heard from Immigration Judges currently assigned to hear these cases on the effect this environment is having on them and the judging process itself," the report stated. "Thus far, little attention has been given to the impact of these accelerated schedules on the process of judging asylum cases faced by those assigned to these specialized dockets."

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