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Nonprofit: Number of asylum seekers coming to Connecticut is becoming unmanageable

They say the number of border crossings since 2019 has increased five times over – many of those people coming from Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba to escape poverty and crime.

Mark Sudol

Sep 25, 2023, 9:40 PM

Updated 295 days ago

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The number of asylum seekers coming to Connecticut is becoming unmanageable, according to experts from the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.
They say the number of border crossings since 2019 has increased five times over – many of those people coming from Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba to escape poverty and crime.
The nonprofit says its seeing about triple the number of asylum seekers. In Hartford, there is a backlog of about 13,000 cases in immigration court.
"We've been backed up 3, 5, 8 years and I can't speak for every other state but it's pretty much a national concern right now," said Susan Schnitzer with the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.
Schnitzer says better legislation needs to be put in place.
"It would eliminate a lot of the paperwork, a lot of the frustration for people who have already come here under very traumatic conditions and experiences and it would remove a lot of barriers," said Schnitzer.
The Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants says migrants need an immigration attorney to be granted asylum, and there is a long wait to see an attorney.
"It's completely nuts," said Alex Meyerovich, an immigration attorney in Fairfield. He says many of his clients want to work and make a better life, but can't.
"Suddenly, you end up with this influx of people who need to work and the government doesn't really provide them with the convenience of employment," said Meyerovich.
The Biden administration is doubling down on strategies to contain migration as unauthorized border crossings surge across the Southwest.
"This is not a challenge that's going away," said Schnitzer.
The Biden administration has returned more than 233,000 people from 152 countries back to their country of origin since May.


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