Nearly 1.6 million asylum applications are pending in US immigration courts and USCIS, the highest number ever recorded, according to analysis of federal data. conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
US immigration courts face a more than sevenfold increase in asylum cases from fiscal year 2012, when there were 100,000 pending cases, and the end of fiscal year 2022, when the backlog grew to more than 750,000. according to the clearinghouse.
“Since then, in the first two months of [fiscal year] 2023 (October-November 2022) alone, the asylum backlog has increased by more than 30,000 new cases and now stands at 787,882,” the center stated.
Asylum seekers come from 219 different countries and speak 418 different languages, according to the Syracuse group. Approximately three out of 10 are under the age of 18 and the main countries of origin are Guatemala, Venezuela, Cuba and Brazil, according to the group. Florida and Massachusetts are among the states with the highest increase in asylum applications.