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Speeding Up the Asylum Process Leads to Mixed Results: TRAC

November 29, 2022 (2 min read)

TRAC, Nov. 29, 2022

"Latest case-by-case court records through October 2022 reveal that FY 2022 marked the largest number of individuals granted asylum in any year in the Immigration Court’s history. Grant rates averaged 46%, up from 36% in FY 2021. Not only were more asylum applications granted by Immigration Judges than ever before, but many asylum cases moved through the system faster due to a variety of Biden administration initiatives, including the Dedicated Docket. In this program, families seeking asylum were given expedited proceedings and moved to the head of the line, in front of those waiting in the Court’s existing 1,977,988 case backlog.

Grant rates, however, have fallen since July 2022. This coincides with the extremely rapid increase in expedited cases. When cases were closed within 3 to 18 months during this recent period, grant rates fell to 31%.

  • Representation: Grant rates were only 18% for those who were unrepresented, but more than two and a half times higher for represented cases.

  • Nationality: Highest grant rates were the applicants from Eritrea where 89% were granted asylum. Asylum seekers from Russia and Cameroon were tied with the next highest asylum grant rates of 88%. At the bottom end of the list was Brazil where only 16% won asylum. Haitians also had relatively low grant rates; however, these doubled from just 12% during FY 2021 to 24% in FY 2022.

  • Detained: Only 15% of those detained were granted asylum. Those released from detention had both the highest asylum grant rates (54%), as well as showed the largest gains over FY 2021.

  • Referral from USCIS: Over three-quarters (76%) of cases USCIS asylum officers had rejected were granted asylum on rehearing by Immigration Judges.

To read the full report, including extensive tables and charts, go to:

Or use TRAC’s free asylum decision tool to uncover grant rates in your state or at a specific hearing location:

To examine a variety of Immigration Court data, including asylum data, the backlog, new filings, and more now updated through October 2022, use TRAC's Immigration Court tools here:

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