The U.S. State Department publishes annual statistics about asylee family reunification, but not refugee family reunification, so I am in the slow but steady process of trying to collect and publish this data for public use. I am gathering data from the following sources:
+ Individual interviews with refugee applicants
+ Legal aid centers and immigration legal services
+ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to United States Citizenship Services (USCIS) and the U.S. State Department
Currently, I have two sets of data: preliminary statistics from USCIS on the approval rate of the I-730 refugee family reunification petition, and hand-collected data on 143 families from immigration service providers and interviews.
My data is still limited. Even so, some interesting themes are emerging. Take a look at the numbers:
according to USCIS data from a FOIA request,
I-730 petitions USCIS received in 2015:
83% of these petitions were approved.
the average time it took to process them was
open cases, by year opened:
What this shows: twenty people who filed for their family members in 2013 are still waiting for them to arrive. The same goes for another twenty people who filed in 2014. Twelve people who filed in 2011 are still waiting. And some families have been waiting to reunite since 2010, 2009, and even 2005.
From data set of 143 families.
Where are these family members while they're waiting?
Here is a map with the details: