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Immigration change brings concerns about system backlogs

Asylum seekers
Posted at 8:32 PM, Apr 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 01:50:43-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Title 42, which has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic, will end on May 23rd.

The order allowed the Department of Homeland Security to expel single adults and families encountered at the Southwest border because of public health concerns.

The change in policy does bring about concerns for a system already backlogged.

"I think there has to be some thought about how this will roll out and you know make sure that people who are already in the queue finally also have their day in front of an immigration officer," Maurice Goldman, an immigration attorney in Tucson, said.

Some asylum seekers have been waiting for more than five years to have their case heard, Goldman said. Now with an increase in applicants, he said the backlog could get worse.

Some of the refugees who arrived from Afghanistan are still waiting for their cases. Refugees from Ukraine are also now starting to show up at the southern border seeking asylum.

"I mean the Ukrainian crisis has forced a lot of people to travel to other third countries and then try to get the United States," Goldman said. "Many of them have come to Mexico come to the border and they have been told that they can't enter."

When the order ends, Goldman hopes there are adequate resources ready.

"Implementations going to be the most critical aspect of it and resources," Goldman said. "Because if you don't allocate the resources to it and you don't implement it properly, it's going to be a debacle."

Greg Bradbury is a reporter for KGUN 9. Greg is a graduate of Syracuse University where he studied Broadcast Journalism and Spanish. Greg joined KGUN 9 in February 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist after working at the ABC National Desk as a Digital News Associate. Share your story ideas and important issues with Greg by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.