THE U.S. ASYLUM SYSTEM is facing a growing crisis. Over the last four years, the backlog of asylum applications pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Asylum Division has risen sharply. As of September 2016, there were over 194,000 affirmative asylum cases pending, a dramatic increase from the 32,560 that were pending in 2013. Most people who file asylum applications with USCIS are waiting over two years, and many will wait longer, to have their asylum applications adjudicated by USCIS asylum officers.