Report: 9 year backlog for asylum seekers at NYC ICE office

  • New York City's ICE office is booked until Oct. 2023
  • Backlog of migrants also extended to some cities in Florida
  • New York City immigration office has not yet commented

(NewsNation) — New York’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is fully booked until October 2023, meaning some asylum seekers will be waiting nine years for their hearing, according to a New York Post report.

New York typically has a three to five-year backlog in immigration cases, but the influx of migrants likely means an even more stretched out process for migrants with legitimate asylum claims.

“An inordinate volume of people crossing the border illegally being referred to immigration proceedings, in big cities, and so the volume increases there,” said former director of ICE Ronald Vitiello about the possibility of a nine-year report. “So the threshold and what happens to people when they come is a big problem. And then you have a resource problem”

In 2021, President Joe Biden’s administration made it so migrants could await processing from the office closest to where they wanted to live, and be seen by a local ICE agency.

Now, the New York City office has an appointment list of more than 39,000 non-citizens, and they’re not the only clogged office, per the New York Post report.

“Within that volume of millions of millions of people who are waiting to see the immigration judge, are people who are truly seeking asylum in the United States, because they’re being persecuted by their government for religious grounds or other political views,” said Vitiello. “And so most people are stuck in the same line of the millions of people who are waiting, who likely would not qualify, who came here more for economic reasons.”

The volume of backlogged appointments in New York City is followed by those of offices in Jacksonville, Florida and Miramar, Florida.

“You know, there’s only so many courts, there’s only so many judges, there’s only so much time in the day to hear cases,” said Vitiello. “It’s a downside for the people who have legitimate claims for refugee status or asylum cases, because it’ll be years before those cases are heard.”

While awaiting their appointments, migrants are often given ankle bracelets or have GPS trackers put on their phones. Some migrants awaiting their hearing are opting to find less backlogged locations. But the problem is bound to build up in states like Florida and Texas.

NewsNation has reached out to the New York City immigration office and the city’s mayor Eric Adams’ office for comment and have not heard back.


© 1998 - 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation