On August 16, 2019, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) forwarded an email alert from the Newark Asylum Office to immigration attorneys across the country. The email states that the Newark Asylum Office and the Sub Office in Boston will divert a significant number staff to help adjudicate cases on the Southwest Border, effective August 19, 2019.
The Newark Asylum Office explains that this diversion of staff will have an effect on its ability to process affirmative asylum cases under its jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Newark Asylum Office will continue to conduct interviews in only a small number of affirmative asylum cases at its Newark (Lyndhurst, NJ) office. The Boston Sub Office will complete the processing of affirmative asylum cases for which interviews have already been conducted, but will not schedule interviews in any new cases. The email states that the Newark Field Office will endeavor to resume a more normal interview schedule as soon as possible. For any cases that are scheduled for interviews, the Newark Office will follow existing affirmative asylum priorities.
This announcement comes as highly unwelcome news for many affirmative asylum applicants, many of whom have already been subjected to extremely lengthy adjudication processes. Current and future asylum applicants should always work closely with an experienced immigration attorney in the area of asylum law. An experienced attorney will not only be able to determine if an individual has a colorable asylum claim and, if so, assist the individual throughout the complicated asylum process, but will also ensure that the individual's rights and interests are protected throughout the process — including by advising the applicant on his or her potential eligibility for employment authorization based on a long-pending asylum application.
We will update the website with more information on this important issue if and when it becomes available. To learn about asylum generally, please see our growing selection of articles on site [see category
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