In the Balance: Backlogs Delay Protection in the U.S. Asylum and Immigration Court Systems

  • Asylum

Human Rights First will host an event on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 to discuss its recently released report "In the Balance: Backlogs Delay Protection in the U.S. Asylum and Immigration Court Systems," and what the U.S. government can do to rectify a worsening situation. The world now faces the greatest refugee crisis since World War II, and the need for effective, timely, and fair processing of asylum claims could not be greater. But the U.S. asylum and immigration court systems are leaving asylum seekers in limbo for years, undermining the recruitment of pro bono legal counsel and prolonging the separation of refugee families.

Panelists will address how chronic underfunding, hiring challenges, and shifting enforcement strategies have led to alarming backlogs in the U.S. asylum and immigration systems, exposing vulnerable asylum seekers and their families to combined wait times of up to six years for resolution of their claims. Panelists will also discuss the impact of these backlogs on pro bono legal representation and some steps the U.S. Government should take to address the backlogs and delays.

Welcome and introductions:
Erin Law, Executive Director and Pro Bono Lead Counsel, Morgan Stanley

Opening Remarks and Moderation:
Eleanor Acer, Senior Director of Refugee Protection, Human Rights First


  • B. Shaw Drake, Equal Justice Works Fellow, Human Rights First
  • Harlene Katzman, Pro Bono Counsel and Director at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
  • T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Visiting Professor at Colombia Law School, Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, former Deputy High Commissioner of UNHCR


Strictly by registration only.  Please RSVP to Carola Beeney,