NYC recruiting private lawyers to help tens of thousands of migrants with asylum applications, while data shows massive backlog, high denial rate


By Bernadette Hogan at

New York City is recruiting private lawyers to help tens of thousands of migrants flooding the Big Apple fill out asylum applications, while data shows there’s a massive backlog and most asylum claims are denied.

City Hall officials said Wednesday that since last spring, 78,700 “asylum seekers” have arrived and upward of 48,700 migrants are currently living in taxpayer-funded shelters and emergency hotels.

Although Mayor Adams announced a new program aimed at helping migrants file paperwork, “many” have failed to submit official claims with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Manuel Castro, Adams’ Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, admitted Wednesday that the Big Apple collects “limited information” about how many migrants have filed for asylum and where they are in the process — even though the city just announced they’re opening a new program to help people with applications. 

“New York City collects very limited information. There are rules around this, as to the individual’s immigration status and application process, or statuses,” he said.

“So we are not collecting information about how many people have applied, when they’ve applied and how many more people need to apply.”

Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom previously said the city is aware of “very few” individuals submitting claims.

There’s a one-year window upon entry to the US to register claims before their eligibility runs out. 

The US Justice Department tracked a record number of 700,000 asylum claims filed across the country in 2022 and that figure is also expected to grow this year. 

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