NYC ICE Asylum Office Faces 10-Year Backlog

New York City’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is struggling to keep up with a massive backlog of non-citizen appointments, causing a delay in asylum claims for migrants apprehended at the southern border.

According to a report reviewed by the New York Post, ICE offices in New York City are fully booked through October 2032, with over 39,000 non-citizens having appointments as of mid-February, making it the most congested jurisdiction in the country. Jacksonville and Miramar, both in Florida, are the second and third most backlogged offices, respectively.

The Biden administration released more than 800,000 illegal migrants who had been apprehended at the southern border between March 2021 and February 2023. New York City is the top destination for immigrants.

The appointment backlog means that many illegal immigrants will be able to legally remain in the country for almost a decade before they face immigration court to argue their case. This is due to the Biden administration’s change in the processing system. Illegally migrants with asylum claims were traditionally issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court.

But the administration added a further step to deal with the record wave of new arrivals. It issued detainees a Notice to Report (NTR) to the ICE office near their final destination to get placed into court proceedings. Authorities stopped giving NTRs in late 2021 and imposed the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) “parole” program on most illegal border crossers. Many of them were required to submit to GPS tracking or reporting on a smartphone app.

The appointment backlog in New York City is causing a headache for those with valid asylum claims, who may have to wait almost a decade to enter the immigration court process.
Former acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said, “If you want to stay here and fight your case for 12 years and if you do your research or the cartels do their research, that’s actually pretty clever.”

The appointment backlog is just one of the issues contributing to the immigration crisis at America’s borders. More than 5.5 million illegal immigrants have entered the country since Biden assumed office. More than an additional 1.2 million were known to have evaded law enforcement.