Many asylum applicants in the United States have expressed their concerns about whether President Obama’s immigration reform executive orders will somehow negatively affect the timeliness of their own applications.
However, it is somewhat unlikely that it will impact the speed at which other applications are filed at all.
First of all, the applications that the executive orders were supposed to create have not been made available yet as a Texas court filed an injunction against them. Until the federal government files a stay or the ruling is overturned, the applications will not be available.
Secondly, the original DACA program, which was released in 2012 did not significantly impact the processing times of other applications, so it can be reasonably expected that there won’t be any great delay this time either.
Further, the USCIS hired almost 200 more asylum officers in 2015, which should further speed up the processing times.
Really, it seems that asylum applicants can expect their applications to be processed faster this year!
The USCIS is a government agency that gets more than 99% of its funding from the fees paid by applicants for immigration benefits.
This business-like model makes it better prepared to handle the sort of challenges that increased applications may pose. It is a more agile and adaptable organization than many other agencies in the United States government.
Asylum applicants who are concerned with when their applications will be processed should be sure to file early, file correctly and to take advantage of the provisions made for people waiting for their applications to be processed. For example, many applicants may be eligible for work authorization while their applications are being processed.