DACA Reform and Its Hostages (i.e., Asylum Seekers)

by Jason Dzubow on October 12, 2017

President Trump recently sent a letter to Congress laying out his “Administration’s principles for reforming our Nation’s immigration system.” In effect, this is what the President wants in exchange for agreeing to legalize DACA recipients (also known as Dreamers). Whether this is an opening bid or a final offer remains to be seen, but many Democrats and some Republicans seem to view the proposal as a non-starter.

Haggling over brown people? Where have I seen that before?

While the President’s letter covers a wide range of topics–from the border wall to hiring more ICE agents to eliminating the DV lottery–I want to focus here on the possible effects on our asylum system. Specifically, Section 1-C of the letter, Asylum Reform, lists the Administration’s ideas for “correcting the systemic deficiencies that created that [asylum] backlog.” Would that these ideas were so benign.

Below, I have listed the text of the President’s letter in bold, and added my comments (and complaints) in italics. Without further ado, here is the President’s proposal with commentary:

The massive asylum backlog has allowed illegal immigrants to enter and stay in the United States by exploiting asylum loopholes. It seems what the President means by “asylum loopholes” is the asylum process itself. But asylum is not a “loophole.” It is the law, which says that if a person is physically present in the U.S. and he fears persecution in his home country, he can apply for asylum and stay here until his case is adjudicated. An executive order from the President cannot nullify this, but Congress and the President together can change the asylum law. I have not seen any movement in that direction, at least not yet.

There are more than 270,000 pending cases in the asylum backlog before USCIS, and approximately 250,000 asylum cases before EOIR. Therefore, the Administration proposes correcting the systemic deficiencies that created that backlog. I don’t get to say this too often, but I agree with Trump! The backlog is way too large, and we need to reduce it. The Administration wants to hire 370 new Immigration Judges and 1,000 ICE attorneys. I’ve written before about some constructive and low-cost ideas for reducing the backlog. If anyone in the Administration is interested, you can see my thoughts here.

i. Significantly tighten standards and eliminate loopholes in our asylum system. It’s not clear which standards would be tightened and which loopholes eliminated. There are plenty of changes that could be made. Some might be productive (such as cracking down on notario and attorney fraud); others would likely result in eligible aliens being denied asylum and returned to face persecution (raising the evidentiary bar, for example). One area of concern for the Administration is asylum seekers at the border who arrive here and are then paroled into the U.S. Whether we could block such people without violating our treaty obligations (and our moral values) is an open question. Of course, Congress has the power to override treaties, but the unintended consequences of such a move might do (additional) damage to our standing in the world. 

ii. Elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews. Presumably, this will go beyond what the Trump Administration has already done to make it more difficult for asylum seekers arriving at the border or an airport. Again, how much can be done without abrogating our treaty obligations is unclear, but certainly Congress and the President can make it more difficult for people arriving here and requesting asylum upon arrival.

iii. Impose and enforce penalties for the filing of frivolous, baseless, or fraudulent asylum applications, and expand the use of expedited removal as appropriate. Why these two proposals did not warrant their own Roman numerals, I do not know. As for the first, there are already severe immigration consequences for filing a frivolous asylum application (including a bar to all benefits under the INA), but I suppose the penalties could always be made worse. Also, the Trump Administration has already set forth a policy on expedited removal, so perhaps the new proposal would incorporate those ideas (which basically expands the temporal and geographic boundaries of expedited removal). 

iv. Close loopholes in the law to bar terrorist aliens from entering the country and receiving any immigration benefits. As you might imagine, the immigration law currently has no provisions what-so-ever to block terrorists from coming here. Amazing that no one noticed this before. Lucky for us, some keen-eyed Trump Administration official caught the problem, and so now we can finally make some rules blocking terrorists. Whew!

v. Clarify and enhance the legal definition of “aggravated felony” to ensure that criminal aliens do not receive certain immigration benefits. An alien convicted of an aggravated felony is ineligible for most immigration benefits, including asylum. I agree that the definition of aggravated felony could use some work–some offenses that might seem serious (like assault and battery against a police officer) are generally not aggravated felonies under the Immigration Act; other crimes that seem minor (such as shoplifting) might be an aggravated felony. It’s clearly not equitable. My fear is that the Trump Administration will blindly expand the definition of aggravated felony so that any crime–no matter how minor–will bar asylum seekers from the U.S. and will needlessly divide more families through deportation.

vi. Expand the ability to return asylum seekers to safe third countries. The idea of sending asylum seekers back to the last “safe” country they passed through is not new. For various reasons, I doubt it is the magic bullet that some immigration resrictionists think it is. For one thing, it is difficult to know whether a particular country is safe, and so I suspect that such a provision might just shift the battle from the fear of persecution in the home country to whether the third country is “safe.” Also, whether the “safe” countries will agree to accept non-citizens we send their way seems doubtful.

vii. Ensure only appropriate use of parole authority for aliens with credible fear or asylum claims, to deter meritless claims and ensure the swift removal of those whose claims are denied. This provision probably involves closing “loopholes” at the border. Here, some data might be useful. Is there any evidence that paroled aliens commit crimes? How often do such people fail to appear for court hearings? What is the cost of detaining such individuals? Making rational and effective policies requires answering such questions before taking action.

viii. Prevent aliens who have been granted asylum or who entered as refugees from obtaining lawful permanent resident status if they are convicted of an aggravated felony. There is a waiver available to refugees and asylees who commit crimes (INA § 209(c)), including in some cases, aggravated felonies. However, BIA case law largely already prevents aggravated felons from taking advantage of the waiver. My main problem with eliminating the waiver is that it will result in people being deported to countries where they face harm, even for relatively minor crimes (many minor crimes are considered aggravated felonies already, and the Trump Administration plans to broaden the definition of aggravated felony even further).

ix. Require review of the asylee or refugee status of an alien who returns to their home country absent a material change in circumstances or country conditions. Asylees who return home are already subject to having their status terminated. So like many of the provisions listed here, this one seems like piling on. Also, there are legitimate reasons why some asylees need to return home–to see sick family members, for example. Also, in some cases, asylees do not fear their home government; they fear terrorist groups in their country. Such people can return home for a brief period, but if they remain in their country for the long term, they face great danger. The current law recognizes this, and makes some exceptions for asylees who return home. This seems more fair than a blanket prohibition. 

None of these provisions have yet been implemented or incorporated into law, and we will have to see how negotiations proceed. The Administration can argue that it is fair to bargain with the fate of DACA recipients in order to “reform” our immigration system (which certainly does need reforming). And perhaps that is the reality of politics. But I can’t help think there is a better way, and that it is not necessary to pit one minority group against another, and to hold so many innocent people hostage to a political agenda.

{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

Norman Kozlarek November 2, 2017 at 11:44 am

I am helping a Congolese asylum seeker. He has applied more than 150-days ago ans I believe he has had an interview. He has also applied for a work permit. He has a driver’s license but his social has limits on it. So, we await the permit or asylum, but I wish to employ him. Any way to do this, especially with the I-9? I have lent him a vehicle and I have a position open for him. We are afraid that we cannot yet hire him because we cannot complete the I-9 and therefore he would be uninsurable in our automotive dealership.


Jason Dzubow November 2, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Unless he has (or had) an Employment Authorization Document (work permit card), I do not now how you can legally employ him. Once he gets the first EAD, he is legally eligible to work. Some people have visas that allow them to work, so maybe you can explore that possibility. Take care, Jason


Norman Kozlarek November 14, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Thank you. His attorney (pro bono) keeps telling me his authorization will be here shortly, but … tick, tick, tick.
All I can do is either pay him to work for me or get him a cash position elsewhere. But then another wrench in the spokes, he is devoted to a religion where the Sabbath falls on Saturdays, so that hinders employment as well.


Jason Dzubow November 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

If he had an EAD before and is renewing, he gets an automatic extension of the old EAD – I wrote about that on January 2, 2017, if that helps. Take care, Jason


Luckman October 29, 2017 at 12:02 am

Hello Jason,
Thanks for your support. Please, I will like to know, does government provide asylum seeker with accommodation and stipend like monthly allowance?


Jason Dzubow October 31, 2017 at 6:06 am

In the US, the government does not provide any such benefits. Maybe you can find such help from a church or other non-profit. Take care, Jason


Luckman November 6, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Hello Jason,
Your kind and candid advice here is highly appreciated.
I am from Nigeria, I travelled out of Nigeria in August 2017 to Mexico via New York. My wife and two kids came in to USA November 2017.

The problem; my wife have been tormenting and treating by my family member to allow them to do circumcision for our children. After so much difficulty, they did it on my son, but not successful on my daughter. At the moment, my wife is pregnant, and they have been treating to kill her if she refuse them to circumcise the new born baby, because, they claimed that according to the family tradition, it must be done immediately after the birth. As a result, myself and my wife conclude that we should run away from them, and led us to come to USA.

My inquiry, did we have a case? Because, we don’t have any documents to present as evidence, it’s a spiritual attacked. Secondly, does my visit to Mexico have a negative decision on the case? Thirdly, should we plan to do it together as a family (couple and two kids), or my wife should do it with the kids alone? Lastly, which State/City is best to do it?

Your usual advice we be highly appreciated as usual.


Jason Dzubow November 8, 2017 at 7:34 am

You do have a case, but you need to talk to a lawyer about the specifics. This is not an easy case and the law is different in different parts of the US concerning whether a parent of a child who faces FGM qualifies for asylum (different federal courts with different jurisdictions have reached different conclusions about whether such a person qualifies, so you have to be careful about this). I doubt the trip to Mexico will have an effect. Probably you will want to do the case as a family, and probably with your wife as the lead person, but you need to talk to the lawyer about that. I recommend you try a non-profits that specializes in helping women victims of FGM. Even if they cannot do the case, they can give you some honest advice and probably refer you to a good lawyer. I did a blog post listing non-profits on September 22, 2016, and so you can look on the list for your state and find a non-profit that helps women. Take care, Jason


sAM October 24, 2017 at 11:56 am

Hi Jason,

I have pending Asylum case and Pending TPS (I asked immigration and they said they consolidated under the asylum case). My employer filed Labor cert and it has been approved.
Do you think there is any way to AOS from my Pending status.

Thank you,


Jason Dzubow October 24, 2017 at 5:35 pm

It may be possible, but it depends on the specifics of your case, and you should talk to an attorney about that. Make sure that you can complete the entire process and get a green card. I have seen some attorneys who do the first step (the I-140) and collect their fee for that, but then it is impossible for the person to ever get a green card, so be careful about that. Take care, Jason


SAM October 24, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Thank you Jason!
Today I did infopass and they said that TPS and Asylum cases has been consolidated and if you have any question about the TPS you should go to asylum office, Would you please share your thoughts.

Thank you,


Jason Dzubow October 25, 2017 at 6:37 am

I did not know they did that, or exactly what that means since they are both different types of relief. I suppose you have to contact the asylum office to ask about the cases. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Luckman October 28, 2017 at 4:29 pm

Hello Sam,
Please, I will like to know, does government provide you with accommodation and stipend?


Jason Dzubow October 24, 2017 at 6:43 am

I do not think the I-601 can be used to waive a TRIG case. You should talk to a lawyer about the specifics of the situation. Also, if you are interested in talking to a journalist, someone contacted me yesterday about TRIG cases – if you want to talk to her (maybe anonymously), you can email me at jdzubow@dzubowlaw.com and I will put you in touch. Bringing light to this problem may help “the system” (or maybe not). Thank you, Jason


Danyah October 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Hello Jason

I am writing this to you in the hopes that you would give me sound advice regarding my desperate situation.

I am an Ethiopian citizen currently living in Ethiopia. Ì was recently in Kenya and I was barred from leaving Kenya. The reason why I wasn’t allowed to leave the country wasn’t because I committed a crime or had done something illegal. It was simply because my family doesn’t want me to leave them and be my own person. There are also a few other reasons why they didn’t want me to leave relating to politics but I’d rather not go into it now as I don’t have credible evidence to back it up.

I have now left Kenya after my family had the stop order lifted and I am in Ethiopia under their constant supervision 24/7. It might sound silly as it is not a case related to gender, ethnicity, religion etc And I have a feeling you have never had a case like this . Nevertheless, regardless of whether it sounds silly or not, my right to freedom of movement has been violated. I am not considered as an autonomous person who has the right to self determination. Ì am basically a prisoner who can’t leave the country. If I attempt to leave again, I know I would face the same problem. I have considered visiting some embassy here and seeking asylum but from what I have read my case doesn’t seem to qualify me. Ì do have political reasons like I have mentioned above but have no credible evidence.

What do you suggest I do? I am very desperate and I am willing to go to any country willing to accept me outside of Africa. Beggars can’t be choosers. I need to leave quick for my safety and mental health. Ì wish I was in the USA so I could use your services. Please help me and tell me what I can do to get out of this depressing, miserable and seemingly hopeless situation. Thank you in advance.



Jason Dzubow October 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

I do not understand your situation well enough to advise you. If you can get to another country, you may be able to ask asylum there, and you may have a case (sometimes, family persecution can be a basis for asylum), but this would depend on the laws of the country where you go. The best bet is to talk to a lawyer in the country where you want to go and see whether your case might qualify you for protection there. Take care, Jason


Danyah October 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Ì didn’t know family persecution can be a basis for asylum. Thank you for your assistance and I will try to follow your advice.

Thank you again and keep it up with your blog.


Liv October 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Hi Jason :

thank you in advance. can I get married with U.S Citizen and change status during any asylum process such as waiting for interview / referred to court / during removal proceeding / administrative closure ?


Jason Dzubow October 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm

You can, assuming you are eligible. The procedure varies depending on where you are in the process. Talk to a lawyer to help you get through the process. Take care, Jason


Liv October 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm

thank you Jason. you are so kind. one more question : will same sex marriage be a problem in this case? I am afraid we will encounter a judge/IO with prejudice and ruin the case.


Jason Dzubow October 20, 2017 at 5:59 am

I suppose some people are prejudice that way, but I have not seen that with an immigration judge or heard about such a situation causing a problem, and so I do not think it is something to worry about. Take care, Jason


Dan October 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Hello, I would like to know what happened I couldn’t renew my driver license here in Alabama. I have my work permit category C08, I-797 notice of Action, The EA card itself, I-94, the I-797C for my biometrics, and my expired driver license. Thank you so much for all the help and supports.


Jason Dzubow October 18, 2017 at 6:10 am

Your old EAD is extended for 6 months if you filed an application for a new EAD under the same category (c-8). I wrote a post about that with links to the law on January 25, 2017. Maybe you can show those links to the DMV and they should extend. If they refuse, you may need to seek legal help, as they should renew it. Let us know what happens. Take care, Jason


Dan October 18, 2017 at 9:38 am

Hello sir, this is my second renewal of EAD and on my first EAD I was able to get a driver license and even on the second EAD which was my first EAD I got a renewal of the driver license but this time when I went to the DMV, they told me they can’t issue me a driver license. I told them this is my third time getting a driver license but they said they don’t issue a driver for C8 anymore. I asked th guy when does the change happen but just told me it isn’t like that.


Jason Dzubow October 18, 2017 at 8:12 pm

I have never heard of such a thing. I think you should try again and maybe talk to a supervisor. If that is the new rule, you will need to get help from an organization that represents people in civil rights cases – the ACLU, for example. If you need a referral, you can let me know and I can try to refer you to someone. Take care, Jason


Dan October 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

Thank you so much sir, yes I need the referral please.

Thomas October 17, 2017 at 3:40 am

no one is answering me please advise me,
May i ask if my wife applied her asylum case already then i moved to the US can i still join her case or make a new case for myself this according to the new asylum law?


Rsv October 17, 2017 at 3:50 am

Hi Thomas,
I believe there is no any such change in the law that will make any differrence in the case like yours.
If you were married to your wife before she applied for asylum and if you later came to us you can still inform the asylum office and be derivative to your wifes asylum case. All you need to do is to add your name to her case and prove that you guys were married before ahe applied. Thats what i think but Mr.Jason definetly will tell you how exactly is works. Tc


Thomas October 17, 2017 at 4:10 am

Thank you Rsv for your reply


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 5:48 pm

That is right – but even if you get married while the asylum case is pending, you can still be added to the case. Take care, Jason


Rsv October 17, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Thank You Mr.Jason. I thought i made that mistake after posting my reply about one can still be added to the case even if someone get married during the pending case. Thanks for clarification.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 5:46 pm

If you come to the US and your wife has an asylum case pending, you can join her case or file your own case (or maybe do both, though normally that is not advisable). Take care, Jason


Rsv October 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Hello Sir,
I have one question I really appreciate if you can answer. How does the asylum office decide which categories falls under circuit ride like how far if you an applicant reside from the main office they decide to interview them on circuit ride.
If I live in Arkansas and main office will be New Orleans but how to know if I will be interview in New Orleans office or circuit ride close to my address. Thanks for your help.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:40 am

It is something internal, and I do not know. You can email the office to ask about where you might be interviewed. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason


Moneer October 16, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Hi Jason,

Thanks for all your great efforts that you are putting for all of us here. This blog is a true source of information for us.
So I came to the US with a J1 visa that has 2 years of home residency requirement, but due to a credible fear for my life in my home country I had to apply for Asylum and last year my Asylum was granted.

I know as per USCIS an Asylee have to wait for 1 full year before he/she can apply for my green card. But in my case I got married with an American citizen 2 months ago. Now my wife wanted me to apply for Green Card through our marriage instead of waiting for the 1 year timer to complete. Do you think it is possible for me to Apply for Green Card through marriage ? If yes, then how do you think I should answer the question No. 24a , 24b and 24c these questions are on page number 10 of I-485 form ? So far my answer for 24a is Yes, for 24b is No. and for 24c is Yes. Do you think Asylum grant can be considered as a waiver for J1 visa home residency requirement ? Please help me understand these three questions.

And if someone has committed an ordinary misdemeanor that has been pardoned by the court , under which question on the same page does it come , questions 25 , 26 or 27 ?

Thanks in advance!


Nyc October 16, 2017 at 4:42 pm

If you want to get a green card from your wife. You can not get RTD. You have to use your own passport from your country that might have problem about lie to US government. Why you applied for asylum if you fear form your government and still use a passport


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:37 am

If you apply through your wife, I think you will separately need a J-1 waiver. If you win asylum and get a GC based on asylum, the J-1 waiver should not be needed. I cannot answer the specific questions about the form, and I do not know the details of your criminal issue. I suggest you talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case for some help on this. Also, I do not know the reasons, but it is probably a lot cheaper and easier to just get your GC based on asylum, rather than deal with the delay and cost of a J-1 waiver, but talk to a lawyer about that to determine which option is best for you. Take care, Jason


Allen October 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

most possible scenario for you: you may have to get your green card though asylum at the end. because J1 waiver is only possible while you are sill in J1 status. there is no J1 waiver after your j1 status expires (correct me if I am wrong).


Jason Dzubow October 18, 2017 at 6:08 am

I am not sure about that – I think you can apply for the J-1 waiver at any time that you are subject to that waiver. Take care, Jason


Wael October 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Hello Jason!

Your incredible blog have been an incredible help for a lot of us. Navigating the asylum system is an extremely hard thing to do even with a lawyer. Today I received some bad news regarding the wait time for my asylum case. As you indicated in your article about the USCIS Asylum timeline and how inaccurate it is, I think it’s even much worse for people who don’t live close to the Asylum office itself that they filed for. In my case I filed for Asylum in Oregon, and that falls under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Asylum office. If you currently look at their time table they are processing cases of summer of 2015(time I filed), but they processing people who filed in Oregon a YEAR slower! I got this information from contacting the San Francisco Asylum office directly. It’s heartbreaking considering I am already preparing for my interview. It will be 3 years to get into an interview, and god knows when a decision is made. I would like to ask you if any of your clients have experienced this sort of delay? That is inconsistent processing time depending on where that person lives despite the same Asylum Office?

Thank you!


Rsv October 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm

You can try asking them to call you for an interview in the main office as if their resources currently not permitting them for a circuit ride. It may work.
Let us know what happens. Thanks


Wael October 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm

I just sent them an email asking them for this. Will post here when they reply, but I seriously doubt they will allow me to do that. It seems that the backlog keeps piling up each year. More and more cases every single month. The progress is actually negative which is frightening. It’s really affecting my mental health how much my future is hanging in the air with no resolution.


Rsv October 17, 2017 at 3:21 am

I feel you. Hang in there. Have faith in USA and you won’t be disappointed.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:33 am

This is also a good idea – I have heard about this working. Thank you, Jason


Alex October 30, 2017 at 4:05 pm

My family applied for Asylum in Chicago but we didn’t live there. We sent a letter saying that we agree to travel to Chicago for an interview and agree to bear all the costs of the trip. We got called for an interview according to the bulletin. Hope that helps. Good luck!


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:31 am

Maybe you will be interviewed in Seattle, which is a sub-office of SF. In general, sub-offices are slower than main offices. You can ask to expedite – send your request to the SF office. I wrote about expediting cases on March 30, 2017. Maybe that would help. Take care, Jason


Wael October 17, 2017 at 6:58 pm

I was actually told I would be interviewed in Portland, Oregon. I am not sure if they have a sub office there or not, or maybe it’s just a circuit ride. Still haven’t heard anything back from the SF office. Thank you Jason for the reply. The same goes to Rsv.


Wael October 17, 2017 at 7:19 pm

I read the article about expediting asylum case, but it seems that it only works if the reason involves serious illness, or family members who are in danger. I don’t think I can expedite based on anxiety disorder, and general stress due to the uncertainty of my future, can I? I am pretty sure I am not the only one feeling that way.


Jason Dzubow October 18, 2017 at 6:34 am

You can try – there is a lot of luck involved in the expedite process, and so if you try, you might be luck and get expedited. Take care, Jason


Rsv October 19, 2017 at 12:58 am

I tried myself few times to expediate based on family seperation but it didnt work for me. I do not have any medical problem nor is my family in immidite danger. Based on only family seperation my case didnt come close to the criteria set forth and i got denied for expediate request.


Me October 16, 2017 at 11:59 am

Hi Jason ( or anyone on this site that can help!)

I am about to apply for my first work EAD. Would appreciate some assistance as to the below queries.

Required documentation as per USCIS instructions:

1. A copy of the USCIS acknowledgement mailer which was mailed to you;

I take it that this is just the blue receipt slip?

2. Other evidence that your Form I-589 was filed with USCIS;
Form I-765 Instructions 07/17/17 N Page 14 of 19

What other evidence should you supply here?

3. Evidence that your Form I-589 was filed with an Immigration Judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review
(EOIR); or

4. Evidence that your asylum application remains under administrative or judicial review.

What do you provide for this? All I have is blue receipt slip and biometrics appointment confirmation.

Also, do you have to have SSN to work legally in the USA or is the work EAD sufficient? Do you have to apply for SSN?

Also is it advisable to submit any additional supporting documentation with application for eg covering letter, or job offer?

I want to ensure that I submit my first EAD correctly as cannot afford to have it returned/denied months down the line


Aryan October 16, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Dear Me
I myself had submitted the following documents for my Initial EAD through Affirmative case.
1. Copy of USCIS acknowledgement Receipt.(Blue page)
2. Biometric Confirmation copy.
3. Passport Copy
4. I- 94 Copy
5. 2 Photograph
6. A cover Letter
7. G-1145 Form. For E- Notification

22 Aug. Application sent
25 Aug. Received by Office
29 Aug. Received confirmation through email and Text Message and forwarded to another Office.
05 Oct. Card was mailed to me.
07 Oct. Got Card in Hand through USPS
Take Care.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:39 am

Thank you – people just need to be careful, as sometimes, different documents are needed depending on the case. Take care, Jason


Me October 31, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hi Aryan

May I ask which service center was handling your EAD?

Also how many days had elapsed before you applied for work EAD?


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:26 am

I cannot give advice about specific documents as I do not know your case. Once you get the EAD, you should now automatically get the SSN, which you do need to work (and pay taxes). If you are concerned about the application, you may want to talk to a lawyer to review the specifics of your case and make sure you submit the application correctly. But in reality, if you make an error, USCIS will send you a letter and explain how to correct the error – it is not such a big deal and the delay is minimal. Take care, Jason


Me October 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Thanks both!

I have submitted my application and trust it will be approved.


B.R October 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

Hi Jason,
My you be blessed for the work that you do to people like us,my gratitudes for everybody here for sharing .

i submitted my ASylum case last year November and then ask for expedition this year on April the office is San Francisco.
I received the letter for the interview last month and i’m scheduled go to on 17th this month in Seattle.
Can you please advise me on the preparation for the interview what can i expect or not expect ,do you know any of the questions i should prepare for anything please.

Thank you



yousef October 16, 2017 at 1:05 am

Hi my friend how are you are you living in Seattle ?
i applied in Seattle October 2016 and still waiting could you please tell me how did you expedite?


yousef October 16, 2017 at 1:06 am

and what was your reason for expedite?


BR October 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

Yes I do live in Seattle,I read the topic about expediting here and collect what was needed and submit I had medical reasons.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:15 am

I did a posting on September 8, 2016 – maybe that would help. Take care, Jason


BR November 17, 2017 at 1:08 am

Dear Jason,

My asylum has been Aproved..!

It is with much gratitude i write this to say thank you so very much for helping people like us on this journey of our life time may God bless you.
Also i want to thank all of the people here and i wish you all the best i know its hard but be strong and keep the hope alive…its is going to be fine..
Thank you..


Jason Dzubow November 17, 2017 at 7:29 am

Thank you for sharing the news – that is wonderful. Best of luck in the United States! Take care, Jason


Thomas October 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm

May i ask if my wife applied her asylum case already then i moved to the US can i still join her case or make a new case for myself this according to the new asylum law?


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:10 am

You can do either one (or maybe both). Take care, Jason


Noor October 15, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Hi i am pending Asylum in md.my interview not conducted yet.i want to marry with my a loving girl who is from my coutry and now on visit visa in u.s.a. she is now also in maryland.My quesions are that 1.After marry with her in u.s.a can i endorse her name in my i589 form?2. how she can get work permit like me? kindly guide. Thanks.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:09 am

1 – You can add her to your case. If you contact the local asylum office, they should be able to give you instructions for that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. 2 – Once she is added to the case, she will be eligible for the EAD on the same schedule as you. Take care, Jason


Al October 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Its hostages, not it’s


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Oy. Thank you – The change has been made…


Al October 18, 2017 at 11:59 am

This Al is not me.


Sara October 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Ahhh it’s got a raised brow out of me lol


Sara October 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm



L.F October 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Hey Sara !
Did you got the invitation for interview?

Zooni Alfaz October 14, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Hi Jason
Thank you for supporting many of us who you dont even see or know.
We appreciate your comments and motivation given to us in these hard times.
I have a question, my husband has an intention to perform Umrah in Saudia Arabia. He has been waiting to do this for a long time for religious reasons.
We are on a pending asylum case.
If we apply for an advance parole to allow permission to travel to saudia Arabia ( not the country, filed for persecution of fear)
Will the advance parole be granted.
Also when he returns to USA will it be ok, i am worried as i will not be travelling with him.
He will go alone for 7 days and will want to come back.
Please can you let me know from experience of other clients, how has this kind of request been looked at.
Many thanks Jason!
Thank you for being there for humans who are so helpless.


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 9:42 am

To get Advance Parole (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov), you need a “humanitarian” reason – usually, this has to do with a sick relative or medical treatment, but there is no hard and fast rule. Maybe the Umrah would qualify as a humanitarian reason, but I have not tried such a case, and so I am not sure. If he (or you) get Advance Parole, you should be alright to travel and return to the US. Take care, Jason


Jimi October 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Dear Jason, thank you for helping us in this tough time. I interviewed for Asylum on May 8th 2017 and still waiting for decision!! In June 6th I applied for EAD renewal which is still pending every time I check the Nebraska Center for EAD processing site it show they have completed EAD for Pending Asylum cases till August 1. I call USCIS to expedite my case because of financial loss, got reply after one month “they are expediting request on real emergency bases” I call USCIS again and ask them what are the criteria for emergency situation for USCIS? Finally I request online to Ombudsman’s office on 9th Oct, to resolve this issue. What else should I do to get my EAD ASAP? Thanks


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 7:29 am

I do not understand your timeline – If you filed for asylum in May 2017, you are not eligible to apply for the EAD until October 2017. In any case, if you are renewing an EAD, you get an automatic extension of 6 months on the old EAD (I wrote about that and provided links on January 25, 2017). As for expediting, there is no easy way, and it sounds like you basically did what you can do. You could also make an Info Pass appointment at http://www.uscis.gov and go in person – sometimes that is more effective than a phone call. Take care, Jason


Jimi October 15, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Thank you for you response, I applied Asylum in Jan 2015 and got interview in May 2017 and waiting for decision. On June 6th applied for EAD renewal…


Nessa October 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Hi, I am Nessa from Dhaka, Bangladesh. First of all sorry for my poor English. I am a political asylum seeker. My current address is Jamaica NY. I came here April 22nd 2016. I got my work permit and social security. But I didn’t get any interview yet. And I have completed bachelor form my country. So I want to do study here. But now Someone told me, there is no financial aid for asylum seekers. Day by day I am getting depressed. And frustrated too. What should I do? How many years should I wait for my first interview? I don’t want to burdens in your country. I want to asset your country. But now, what should I do Sir? Please help me. Please…. I want to legality in your country. I don’t want any more sleepless night. I can’t take anymore. My country is too much dangerous for me. I know how much bad time I passed. Please help me. I am tired.. please help me sir. And I told you, i didn’t get any interview yet. So what should I do now? Please advice me.
Thank you


Pending asylum October 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Nessa, you seem too worried and too early.
If you read the articles ( on a monthly track on the left hand side) you will notice there are so many people who written to Jason on similar cases. Those can be answers to your questions.
Regarding your first interview, no one knows as to when you can have an interview to have an idea on the time frame you can look at the bulletin schedule for your office where you filed asylum case.
As for NY, it generally is faster than other states, approximately a year and half.
Secondly no pending asylum cases are entitled to financial aid by law. Do not be dishearted and pressurise yourself in the early stages.
Once you have your work authorisation, you can work and save up funds for further studies. Once your case is approved you can think of better oppurtunities.
If you have a genuine case you are not a burden to this country and if you want to contribute to this country wait for the right time.
The best of all is to believe and pray to God.
Being dishearted and having negative thoughts willl have no positive outcome to life.
Hope this helps.
And i am sure Jason will make you feel extremely comfortable with truthful and humane response.


Nessa October 16, 2017 at 8:47 am

Thank you so so much for your advice.


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 7:19 am

You may be able to get financial aid or a scholarship – talk to your intended school about that. You can get a rough idea about the interview schedule if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin. Also, maybe you want to try to expedite your case. I did a post about that on March 30, 2017 – maybe that would help. Take care, Jason


Nessa October 16, 2017 at 9:40 am

Thank you so much Jason for your good advice. I need it badly. And I appreciate your kindness for us. Thanks again.


Asylee October 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Jason ,
I submitted my initial EAD application on Sept23 , they received in on 25th they sent my husband his receipt letter but I did not get mine yet . Is that normal? Pulse when I try to check my case online it says invalid number !


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 7:13 am

I think it is too soon to worry – EAD processing is very variable. Some people are fast and most others are slow. Also, until you get the receipt, there is no number to check on-line (you cannot check the status of our asylum case on-line). Take care, Jason


Jamie October 16, 2017 at 10:56 am

Hi Jason,

You can actually check without the receipt after 30 days have passed. I did this while my EAD renewal was being processed. If 30 days passed, USCIS representative will transfer you to their customer service department. They will ask for your alien number, D.O.B, address, full name, etc.


Jason Dzubow October 17, 2017 at 6:22 am

That’s a good point – if you call, you should be able to check without the receipt number. Thank you, Jason


Asylee October 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

They texted and emailed the # to me so I have it ! The issue they didn’t send mine and my husband has received his !


Al October 13, 2017 at 4:35 am

Loopholes – Key word.

So he basically copied the existing regulations as if he made his own contribution to an existing, strict system.

The only difference I see is that he hired more ICE agents who will be persecuting innocent victims who fled a regime in first place.


Rsv October 13, 2017 at 5:35 am

Hi Al
I am sorry but like you have your opinion i also have something to say. Let go one by one

Loopholes – Key word.
(Yes there are loopholes and bigly. Google it and look at the statistics and you will findout what President Trump and his team trying to make the respected people in congress understand. It must change. This is the nation of law. Asylum is meant to be for the people who are badly persecuted as a lifeline. Dont make a fun of it and the generosity of the USA by abusing it. I agree with every bit of the Attorney Generals recent speach on it.)

So he basically copied the existing regulations as if he made his own contribution to an existing, strict system.
(Doesnt matter how you read it, all what President Trump and his team is trying to do is make america safe or i would say keep america safe (forward thinking) by heavily vetting all immigrant, underfortunetly which your and mine home government has fail to do thats why we are seeking refugee here.

The only difference I see is that he hired more ICE agents who will be persecuting innocent victims who fled a regime in first place.
(Really so you dont even trust the government institutions of America that they will do justice and if so why you are even asking them for refugee status when you dont trust then.


Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 6:48 am

I think you have a very positive view of Mr. Trump’s motivations. There is simply no evidence that what he is doing will make anyone safer. Much of it is arbitrary and only ends up hurting people who are already victims. There are many sensible changes that can be made to the asylum system, even from a restrictionist point of view, but that is not really what we are seeing. My opinion is that by alienating many people and by using inflammatory rhetoric, he actually makes us much less safe. I will be writing a blog post about that in a week or two, when I have a chance. Take care, Jason


Al October 14, 2017 at 8:43 am


Your perception of what’s going on is based on Trump’s banal statements he reads from the teleprompter.

One must be living in a twilight zone by thinking that putting millions of asylees who actually fled persecution through a humiliating program such as the Alternative to Detention because of some 0.001% that commit crime is justified.

You certainly won’t be copy-pasting or “trusting the government” when third parties making a profit from Trump’s executive “loopholes” come knock on your door 7am in the morning to check on you, impose an ankle monitor, contact your employer and treat you like a criminal.

Not that it’s any of your business why I ask for asylum off of a government I don’t trust, however, I applied years ago, long before Trump was president.

Best of luck,



Sara October 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

Well-said, AI. And I’ll bet that a lot of us applied pre-Trump, as well.
Good luck with your case.


Thomas October 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Agreed! I am actually very lucky I applied before he became in office, and I literally won three days before he was inaugurated!

Rsv, I don’t know why you sort of attacked Al, but claiming someone else’s claim is not as legit as yours (without even knowing them, at all) actually raises a red flag about your own claim. Everyone has the right to be critical about anything, even the US government. That is one of the privileges you have in this country, besides applying for asylum. The same way you’re entitled to your disgusting opinion, we’re entitled to ours.

Rsv October 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Dear Al Sara & Thomas,
First of all I apologize if any of you had any feeling that I was trying to attack someone’s claim as legitimate as I was talking in general.
My point is only that because of these loopholes legitimate cases have been delaying and many people have to been suffering because of these delays specially those with family members still outside USA with spouses and smalls kids. I myself waiting for the interview since last 4 years without seeing my spouse and infant kid that I left 5 years ago.
According to USCIS last year more then 20k people applied for asylum who claimed they were in the US for more than 10 years just in order to get work permits and be put in removal proceedings whereas the law requires that one has to apply within one year. UAC & family units apprehensions have been on rise since last many many years and straining the system and most of them are nothing but just trying to sneak into the border and gain entry into the USA.
These are the few reasons I believe the existing government is exactly on right track doing what need to be done and should have been done long before.


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

I agree that there are a fair number of fraudulent cases (and I have written about that here many times), but there is really no way to know how many. My own practice is a bit unique and my clients generally have very strong claims and have a lot of evidence, but I recognize that this is not the story for many cases. I would say that the mere fact that people apply for asylum after having been in the US for 10+ years is not a very good indicator that the claim is false. We see that a lot, and most such cases are filed with the Immigration Court (as a last-ditch defense to being deported), and not with the asylum office. Such people often do have a subjective fear of return, but their claims often do not satisfy the “on account of” requirement, as they often fear generalized violence or crime in their country, but they are afraid of returning. Take care, Jason

Rsv October 17, 2017 at 2:51 am

That is exactly what i am trying to say Mr.Jason that these 20k plus cases in 2016 are not the ones filed with immigration courts. They are filed affirmatively with uscis asylum offices even after knowing that the applicants are in us for more then 10 years. They are using this backlog loophole knowing that they are not going to get interview anyway within 180 days and which will easily let them get the work permits. This is also one of the reason that now eads are taking too long for many people to get bcoz these loopholes have made the system so much overwhelmed.
Also these many frodulent applicants know that after getting the interviews in 3-4-5 plus years they can still play around and stay here for another 5-10 years bcoz the immigration court backlog is even worst then asylum office.
These are the few reasons again i beleive the current administration is doing extactly what need to be done. If you might have heard the immigrations courts have almost stopped giving continuation in most of the cases without impressive/solid reasons. That i beleieve is a good move.

Al October 18, 2017 at 12:45 pm

@ Rsv

You keep mentioning those non-existent loopholes. Perhaps there’re loopholes only you’re aware of and have been benefiting from.
First of, you need apply within a year, no one will accept your asylum case at USCIS if you’ve been here “10 years.”
Most of the asylum seekers barely speak English to be able to elaborate such well thought out tactics whatsoever. Again, you’re generalizing, and it’s not okay.
Lastly, the EIOR hearings are scheduled faster. It took USCIS 2 years to send an officer from Texas, yet my EOIR (judge) hearing was scheduled 5-6 months after the referral was issued. No massive backlogs there.
I am not sure what your problem is, frankly. You’re starting to truly annoy me with your consistent whiny tone towards asylum seekers.
You are an asylum seeker yourself, so act accordingly. You are nobody to the republican government and they have no remorse even for such **** kissers.
If you’re sent to the immigration judge, an ankle monitor will be assigned, so get ready. I personally am excited for you.

If you’re granted asylum, Trump, Sessions or some other republican lunatic will come up with a way to block your path to green card.

Either way, you lose.

Rsv October 18, 2017 at 11:26 pm
sam October 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm

Hi Jason,
I always follow your blog. It is informative and gives a glimpse of hope for asylum seekers who are suffering from the uncertainty of long asylum processes.
I need your help.
I and my wife came to the united states at different times. My wife was able to come first and she submitted asylum application and her case was seen in immigration office and the case has been referred to immigration court. I later came to USA and applied my own asylum application in a different state and I included her on my application.I am waiting for my interview at the immigration office. Recently, she had a court hearing date at immigration court and when they start the hearing process the government lawyer had my application in her computer instead of my wife’s application. The judge, my wife’s attorney and the government lawyer was confused and the hearing date is again postponed to one year to fix the confusion.
Moreover, the government lawyer asked new finger prints which my wife never been notified to give one.
My question is have you had such experience? how come the government lawyer got my application which I submitted in another state? secondly, what do you advice us to fix this issue at least not to affect my interview dates?
Thank you for your help.


Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 6:33 am

First, if your wife needs fingerprint, your lawyer needs to arrange that with USCIS (normally DHS can give you instructions for obtaining biometrics). Normally, this is not needed for people who were fingerprinted as part of the affirmative asylum process, but if the judge says it is needed, she should do it. As for why the cases are confused, I do not know. Maybe the best bet would be to try to delay her asylum case until your case is resolved. If you are granted, she can get asylum based on you and close her case. If you are denied, your case and her case can be joined together before the judge. If DHS and the Judge agree, that seems like the most efficient approach. Take care, Jason


Sam October 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Thank you!


Jimmy October 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Hi Jason!

In the case of adjustment of status to LPR, have you had cases when the person applied after being physically present for 10/11 months and got approved? Considering that the waiting time after filling the form I-485 to get approved is approximatively 4 months, I’d assume they are lenient in regards to the 1 year requirement, sometimes.



Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 6:39 am

If you are talking about waiting one year after being granted asylum and then applying for LPR, we have – in the past – had cases approved where we applied a bit early (like at the 11 month mark). However, a year or two ago (or maybe more), we had a case rejected because it was filed prior to the 12-month mark, and so we stopped filing cases early. Based on my experience, I think it is best to wait the full 12 months, but if you file early, let us know what happens. Thank you, Jason


rsv October 12, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Monthly Bulletin Update Alert!


Sara October 12, 2017 at 11:05 pm

Thanks for the update, rsv. They seem to have skipped my month in NY!


Rsv October 12, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Really. You mean you didnt get the interview notice and they pass the the month you had applied? What you gone do now. Are you in the main office or circuit ride?


Sara October 12, 2017 at 11:26 pm

I applied in April 2015 and they’ve moved on to September as of last month. Supposedly.
I told my lawyer that I think we should check that they got the address change form we filed earlier this year, and she said it’s not necessary since she will be receiving a copy of the notice, as well. Just emailed her asking what she thinks we should do now.
Main office not circuit ride.


Rsv October 12, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Let me know what kind of a reply you get please if you dont mind. Thx.

Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 6:36 am

In my opinion, if they skipped your month, it is a good idea to email the asylum office and ask about that. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

Celia October 13, 2017 at 10:30 am

Same thing happened to me!
We applied in June, 2015 and they’re working on September now like they skipped the whole summer months?!
I am a little bit nervous because it’s already been 2+ years of waiting…
I just e-mailed my attorney as well. there’s no address change or anything for us.
Same everything just Waiting. And well, it’s already October so does that mean they’re working on October 2015 cases in New York now?
Seems fishy 🙁

Celia October 13, 2017 at 10:51 am

Sara, Jason!

I called Bethpage office jurisdiction of New York because this bulletin gave me a mini heartattack.
The gentleman said they’re working on March and April 2015 and the bulletin might be wrong, he seemed surprised they’re updated to September and seemed like he didn’t know about such update.
He said if we applied in June, 2015 we could get to the interview hopefully by the end of this year and they’ll notify us via mail as well as our attorney will receive a copy.

So I guess we shouldn’t worry YET.

L.F October 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm

I applied in May 2015 & still waiting like you guys
But, I don’t wait to get interviewed this year. From what i saw & seeing now, my math is 2 years & 8 months of waiting, so I’m waiting to call me between January-March 2018 ???,
I really hope everyone to be called & grant before New Year so it’s gonna be the best gift ?

Me October 14, 2017 at 4:06 pm

They seem to be flying through interviews in my jurisdiction…!
How are they even working that fast?

New Orleans, LA September 2017 for those that applied January – June 2015
August 2017 for those that applied July 2013 – December 2014
July 2017 for those that applied June 2013 – October 2014


Jason Dzubow October 15, 2017 at 9:39 am

It may be that some of those cases were interviewed in 2014 or 2015 (USCIS changed the system at the end of 2014), and so maybe they are just doing the remaining cases. Or maybe they are just booking along. Take care, Jason


Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 6:15 am

I think it was updated, but it seems to be un-updated, as it is now showing August as the most recent month. Strange. I guess we will have to see if it is re-updated. Take care, Jason


Sara October 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

This hostage situation is exactly why I’ve been feeling all asylumed out as of late.
Great post as always, Jason. Thank you.


L.F October 12, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Hey Sara
Do we have anything new about interviews in NY ?


Sara October 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Hey L.F.,
Hope you’ve been well.
Sorry I’m late replying; I forgot to turn on notifications for comments.
No interview notice yet and no news. I’ll definitely remember to update you when they decide to hail me over.


Jason Dzubow October 12, 2017 at 5:47 pm

There are many reasons to feel exhausted by everything the government is doing, but hopefully most asylum seekers will hang in there. If we give up, they win. Cases are still being granted: We had one approved yesterday and one today. Keep hope alive! Jason


Asylee October 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Thank you Jason for giving hope in this hard time


L.F October 12, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Approved in interview or court ? From what I heard most of the cases in court are getting approved!
But hope is here in interview ( imagine) this days you have to wait 3 years and not get approved and than 3-4 more years for court without seeing family, friends and stuff… with all this delays and waiting time and all proves, and a lot of good thing I guess we are all doing here and in the and yoy get the paper who send you in court omg ??, but let’s hope and fight till the end
Jason you are great person ?, thank you for supporting us…


Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 6:24 am

One in court (in Baltimore) and one at the asylum office (in Newark). Take care, Jason


Al October 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

@L.F There’s no “imagine.” It’s happening to me.


Sara October 12, 2017 at 11:01 pm

Thanks for the positive news, Jason. Happy to hear it!


Sara October 13, 2017 at 1:38 am

Sure thing, rsv.


Sara October 13, 2017 at 11:36 am

Hi rsv,
My lawyer responded today saying that she has a lot of summer 2015 cases that haven’t been called up, so she’s not concerned because she knows the bulletin is inaccurate.


Rsv October 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Thank You Sara


Sara October 13, 2017 at 11:30 am

Thank you for the advice, Jason. I did email them like 5 months ago and have been waiting on a reply since.


Celia October 13, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Sara, call them! They picked up for me right away!


Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Usually they respond to email in 8 to 10 months, but that is a bit faster than trying call them…


Sara October 13, 2017 at 1:43 pm

I just did, Celia! They did pick up right away and told me not to worry because they’re not done with April 2015, yet. The gentleman I spoke with seemed aware of the bulletin problem, probably because he was alerted by you 🙂 Thanks for being a huge help! 🙂


Sara October 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm



Sara October 13, 2017 at 11:32 am

Hi Celia,
All my replies are being pushed to the bottom so I hope you’ll see this. Thank you very much for the update! It did sound totally fishy to me too, and my lawyer just responded today saying that she has a lot of summer 2015 cases that haven’t been called up, so she’s not concerned because she knows the bulletin is inaccurate.


Jason Dzubow October 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Thank you for the update, Jason


Jason Dzubow October 20, 2017 at 5:56 am

Please email me (and put your entire question in the email so I remember) and I will try to respond: Jdzubow@Dzubowlaw.com. Take care, Jason


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