China’s Muslim Uighurs Are Stuck in U.S. Immigration Limbo

Hundreds from Chinese region of Xinjiang who are seeking asylum in the U.S. have been waiting years because of a backlog

The New York Times
Date: July 28, 2020
By: James T. Areddy and Michelle Hackman

Kalbinur Awut was two months pregnant with her son, who is now 5 years old, when she applied for asylum.

Kalbinur Awut came to the U.S. in 2015 from China’s far west for graduate study. Soon after arriving at the University of Rhode Island, she applied for political asylum. A member of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority, she had been harassed in China for wearing headscarves and was briefly detained after she applied to study overseas.

When she signed into a website run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services this month to check her status, the same old message greeted her, with her wait time the only update: “Your case has been pending with USCIS for 1,796 days, not including delays,” it said.

China’s treatment of Uighurs exploded into the American consciousness around two years ago with reports that China was rounding up around a million Uighurs in what appeared to be concentration camps in the western region of Xinjiang.    [FULL  STORY]

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