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Biden's Border Policies Are Overloading Legal Immigration System, New Report Says

Processing times for some asylum claims are now approaching 10 years

A new government report reveals that the loose immigration policies and lax border enforcement by the Biden administration is causing major setbacks in U.S. government departments that handle legal immigration cases.

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman has published an annual report detailing how the Biden administration’s policies — specifically, abuse of parole and increased use of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — have depleted resources and created huge problems that will “impact USCIS workloads for potentially years to come.”

TPS provides temporary protection from deportation for foreigners who live in the U.S. and have come from nations designated as unsafe because of war, natural disasters, or other crises. The Biden administration has greatly increased the number of people eligible for TPS, which the New York Times called a “New Back Door on Immigration.”

According to the USCIS, “there are now 16 countries with TPS designation, and almost 700,000 people who now hold this benefit in the United States.”

The agency added, “Processing work authorization for these populations in itself is a never-ending task for the agency. USCIS has taken steps to address its backlogs, but processing times continue to increase.”

Making matters worse for the struggling agency is that the increased workload has left the department underfunded, facing what it calls “difficult decisions about how to best prioritize its limited resources.” The USCIS has requested additional appropriated funding to address the higher workloads.

The Biden administration has also added at least eight new parole programs, which allow foreign nationals from multiple countries to skip the line to enter the U.S. before all other green card-eligible individuals who must wait outside the U.S. for an immigrant visa to become available, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

“The program is specifically aimed at ‘family reunification’ for nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. DHS estimates that, today, as many as 73,500 aliens (32,600 Salvadorans; 17,400 Colombians; 12,800 Guatemalans; and 10,700 Hondurans) could be eligible to be paroled into the country and receive work authorizations under this program,” CIS reported.

According to the USCIS, the Biden administration’s policies have resulted in application backlogs for affirmative asylum increasing at a record-setting pace. Now, processing times are approaching 10 years, as backlogs in that program “stand at 842,000 and are projected to reach historical records of over 1 million by the end of calendar year 2024.”

The USCIS Ombudsman says the agency must increase staff, advance the technology it uses, and have funding increased in order to address the “long-lasting challenges for the immigration system.”

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