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New York Times: New Migrants Have a Year to Apply for Asylum. Many Won’t Make It.

Migrants who want to apply for asylum have one year to submit an application, but the long, tedious application process has left thousands in confusion, and many miss the deadline. NYLAG’s Jodi Ziesemer spoke to the New York Times about the issue. 

“Migrants who want to apply for asylum generally have 12 months to submit their completed applications – though many, like the Lopez family, are uncertain about the timeline. If people don’t submit their applications in time, it can jeopardize the new lives they were constructing in their adopted cities. …

“They must do all this through a backlogged court system, which can make the process more complicated and time-consuming. And many migrants navigate the process alone because of a shortage of immigration attorneys and advocates.  

Jodi Ziesemer, director of New York Legal Assistance Group’s immigrant protection unit, said that even for those who regularly practice immigration law, the administrative complexities can be confusing. 

“’Even when you get down to submitting the application, it can be unclear where you need to submit it for it to be accepted,’ she said. 

“But the main persistent problem is that many asylum seekers are not aware – and often are not told by officials – that they are working against a time clock to submit their applications, advocates say.

“It may soon become ‘untenable’ for the courts to work through the growing backlog of cases as they’re operating now, she said.” 

Read the original piece from Hurubie Meko and Raul Vilchis in the New York Times from July 3, 2023. 

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