Asylum-seekers face delays on recent work permit applications – JP


Without a work permit, some may be unable to get driver’s licenses, health insurance or other critical benefits on top of their unemployment. They also face a backlog in processing their overall asylum cases, compounding delays.

“They don’t have the ability to provide for themselves and their families and sometimes even get a driver’s license, any of these things that we kind of take for granted, for those of us who have work authorization,” said Amy R. Grenier, who focuses on asylum and border issues as policy and practice counsel at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “It just compounds the stress and trauma of an already stressful situation.”

Rickie Chiu, an asylum-seeker who fled Hong Kong after protesting the Chinese government there, says he has lost out on multiple job opportunities in the information technology field as a result of the continued delays for his work permit.

Like Sendil, he entered the U.S. last year and filed his work permit request in May. Chiu, who attended college in the U.S., said he may run out of money by year’s end if he can’t start collecting income.

“At this rate, if it goes on, I’m going to use up my savings pretty soon. If that happens, I’m not sure what to do,” Chiu said. “I feel like I’m being pushed in a corner now.”

Las Vegas News Magazine

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