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Feds reach settlement to expedite asylum decisions for 20,000 Afghan allies living in US

September 08, 2023 (1 min read)

Rafael Carranza, Arizona Republic, Sept. 8, 2023

"The U.S. government has reached a class-action settlement to speed up the asylum process for nearly 20,000 Afghans evacuated to the United States two years ago and who have been waiting for months for their applications to be adjudicated. Under the settlement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency for processing and deciding asylum cases in the country, will expedite decisions under a series of rolling deadlines. The first deadline will be Oct. 31, when USCIS must process 50% of all the asylum applications that were filed by Afghans before June 3. The agency must also file a public status report every 30 days, documenting its progress. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco must still approve the settlement in the lawsuit, known as Ahmed v. DHS. The National Immigrant Justice Center and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis filed it on behalf of seven Afghans, but had petitioned to make it a class-action lawsuit impacting as many as 20,000 people."