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The New York Times recently reported on migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and the hardship to those seeking asylum in the United States caused by the backlog of cases pending before the immigration courts.

The overwhelming backlog of cases is especially agonizing to torture survivors, who are some of the most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers.

Many of the survivors at our St. Paul Healing Center are asylum seekers who have fled unspeakable abuses, leaving children and spouses in danger in order to get out alive. Unfortunately, they face complicated legal processes and delays that are lasting years, while family members languish or perish back home. Their children live in hiding, unable to attend school, and the family spirals into poverty without a key wage earner. Many of our clients who are parents describe this helpless waiting as intolerable, and it poses a barrier to their recovery from torture until their legal state of limbo is resolved.

CVT has recommended steps to improve the immigration system, including increased staffing of the courts and expanded access to legal counsel. It is our hope the federal government will soon mitigate obstacles facing deserving survivors seeking freedom and safety in the United States.