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A Fiefdom on Long Island

October 25, 2023 (1 min read)

Safe Harbor Clinic, Brooklyn Law School

"The New York Asylum Office is one of 11 asylum offices around the country. Year after year, the New York Asylum Office grants asylum at one of the lowest, if not the lowest
rates in the country, significantly lower than asylum offices in Texas and Florida. According to FOIA and other publicly available data, in FY 2020, the New York Asylum Office
granted just 5% of applicants, referring most other asylum seekers to removal proceedings in immigration court. In FY 2021 and 2022, the grant rate inched up to between 6% and 7%, still lower than any other asylum office in the country. The Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School wanted to understand why this is the case: Why does the New York Asylum Office consistently grant asylum at the lowest rate in the country?


      • The New York Asylum Office rejects asylum seekers with valid asylum claims just to save time.

  • Former New York Asylum Officers reported that they were required to work at a punishing and unrealistic pace and faced losing their jobs or other retaliation if they could not keep up.
  • Immigration attorneys alleged that during asylum interviews New York Asylum Officers zero in on inconsistencies that are not material to an asylum seeker’s claim, grasping for any excuse to refer the case to immigration court.
  • Former New York Asylum Officers claimed that they were punished if they took the time to advocate for asylum grants."