How Democratic Govts Become Complicit in Transnational Repression: Another Rwanda-US Case

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April 28, 2023 | Just Security | By Yana Gorokhovskaia & Nate Schenkkan

Complicating the picture further, the huge backlog of cases and extended wait times that characterize the U.S. immigration system exacerbates existing vulnerabilities of people who can be targeted by foreign states.  According to data compiled by the University of Syracuse, as of the end of last year, there were 1.6 million people waiting for an asylum hearing by an Immigration Court (housed in the Department of Justice) or by Citizenship and Immigration Services (housed in the Department of Homeland Security). While wait times vary, it can take as long as 4.3 years between when an asylum case is filed with an Immigration Court and when a hearing takes place. A recent study produced by the Uyghur Human Rights Project found that some Uyghurs – a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority group at high risk of being targeted for transnational repression by the Chinese government — in the United States are waiting as long as eight years for their asylum claims to be heard.

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