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  Thursday, November 21, 2013

ABT Amended Settlement Agreement Granted Final Approval; Implementation to Begin by December 3, 2013

On November 4, 2013 the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington granted final approval to the amended ABT Settlement Agreement (Agreement). The Agreement provides that individuals who file or intend to file asylum applications with either the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) are entitled to new procedures relating to the crediting of time toward eligibility for employment authorization.

The original Agreement was amended in September 2013 to clarify two points. First, a clarification was added to the Agreement, stating that when an asylum case is remanded to an immigration judge from the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) for adjudication of an asylum claim (including Board remands to an immigration judge following an appeal to a U.S. Court of Appeals), the applicant will not only be credited with the total number of days between the immigration judge's decision and the date of the Board's remand order for employment eligibility purposes, but the time going forward from the date of the Board remand order will also be credited to the applicant, excluding any delays requested or caused by the applicant. Second, the agreement was amended to clarify that Remand Claim relief would be implemented pursuant to the six month timeframe provided for most other provisions of the agreement.

Due to the government shutdown, the six month implementation timeframe was extended by several weeks, so that implementation will now begin by December 3, 2013.

Additional information on the ABT Settlement Agreement is available on

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