The Migration Policy Institute issued in 2018 a study of the asylum process which is still valid today. Extremely long delays were undermining the system of asylum. The MPI’s recommendations are entirely focused to getting asylee petitions addressed by knowledgeable officers as quickly as possible.
This report underscores my observation that a breakdown in the legal process of immigration applications is at the core of the Mexican border crisis, though by no means the only factor. Judicial systems have a knack for getting screwed up over surges in demand.
Today’s asylum laws were enacted in Refugee Act of 1980. A breakdown in processing petitions occurred due to influx of Cuban and Central American applicants, and reforms were made in the 1990s. Applications soared again in the 2010s, rising from 28,000 in 2010 t0 143,000 in 2017. The Trump Administration’s main response was to narrow the scope of permitted asylum criteria. The MPI rejected this study this strategy.
An indepth analysis of border apprehension cycles over decades is here.