November 8, 2021
For many ASAP members, work permit renewals are taking a long time to process. We have repeatedly asked the government to address these long delays, but the government still has not fixed this issue. Thanks to the leadership of ASAP members who are fighting for their ability to work, ASAP members are suing the government!
How did ASAP members raise this issue?
ASAP members told us their ideas for how to change the asylum process, and receiving a work permit faster was members’ #1 priority. ASAP learned about long delays in work permit renewals thanks to hundreds of ASAP members who contacted us by email, including members who had been waiting over 10 months for USCIS to approve their renewals. “USCIS needs to stop delaying our right to earn a living,” one member from Nicaragua wrote.
It became clear that ASAP members were ready and willing to fight for their ability to work, and that delays in work permit renewals were a serious issue for many members. ASAP then began taking steps to prepare a lawsuit to end these delays!
How did ASAP collect information from members experiencing these delays?
ASAP wanted to collect information from as many members as possible to show the government that delays in work permit renewals are a problem for many asylum seekers. On October 25, 2021, ASAP sent an optional survey to all 170,000 members to ask for help collecting more information about their experiences with delays.
Over 3,500 ASAP members completed the survey! Thank you to every member who filled out the survey. We will share results with the government when we file the lawsuit soon. We can build a powerful case by showing that work permit renewal delays are affecting thousands of ASAP members across the country.
What kinds of questions did the survey ask?
We asked questions to try and understand if members have been experiencing delays in receiving their work permit renewals, and how long they have been waiting. We also asked questions about the effects that these renewal delays have had on members’ lives. Of the 3,500 ASAP members who have completed the survey so far:
- Over 1,000 ASAP members reported that they had pending work permit renewals and were waiting for the government to process them.
- Over 400 ASAP members have been waiting for their pending renewals for more than 6 months.
- Over 100 ASAP members have been waiting for their pending renewals for more than 10 months.
- Over 150 ASAP members either have lost their jobs or will lose their jobs because their work permit renewals were not processed in time.
We will share these results when we file the lawsuit to show the government that work permit renewal delays are harming many asylum seekers. If you are an ASAP member who has been affected by these delays but you were not able to fill out the survey before, you can still help by sharing information about your renewal delay here!
How will ASAP members participate in the lawsuit?
The survey also offered three opportunities for ASAP members to participate in the lawsuit. ASAP members could let us know if they were interested in (1) receiving regular updates about the lawsuit, (2) speaking to the press about their experiences with these delays, or (3) being a plaintiff and including their case in the lawsuit.
If you already filled out the survey and let us know that you were interested in speaking to the press or being a plaintiff, ASAP will contact you soon to let you know if we can work with you.
If you signed up to get regular updates, you will be the first to know when the lawsuit is filed! We will send you an update when the lawsuit is filed with more information about who the plaintiffs are and how the lawsuit will proceed.
If you did not complete the survey but you want to get these updates, don’t worry! You can still sign up to get updates here.
Can I still sign up to participate in the lawsuit?
You can still participate in the fight against renewal delays by sharing information about your delay or signing up to get regular updates about the lawsuit. In the future, we may also send additional surveys to members who sign up for regular updates.
Hundreds of ASAP members expressed interest in speaking to the press or being a plaintiff in the lawsuit. As a result, we are not able to take new requests to speak to the press or be a plaintiff at this time. However, you can learn more about how we selected members for these roles by signing up for updates about the lawsuit!
Thank you so much!
Thank you for joining the fight against work permit renewal delays! We will share major news about the lawsuit with all ASAP members in future member updates, and we will share detailed information about the lawsuit with members who sign up to get regular updates!