AG William Barr Rules Asylum Seekers Being Deported Must Be Jailed

Remigio Civitarese
Апреля 17, 2019

Immigration courts are managed by the Justice Department, not the Judicial branch, which gives Barr the authority to hand down such determinations.

Phoenix - Detained asylum seekers who have shown they have a credible fear of returning to their country will no longer be able to ask a judge to grant them bond. It issued a statement calling Barr's decision "the latest attempt by this administration to punish asylum seekers for seeing refuge in the United States".

Typically, migrants who enter between ports of entry are placed in "expedited removal" proceedings - a faster form of deportation reserved for people who illegally entered the country within the last two weeks and are detained within 160 kilometres of a land border.

The decision reverses a ruling dating back to 2005 that allowed bond to be instituted if the deportation subjects could demonstrate a legitimate fear of either persecution or danger should they leave the United States.

This new rule applies only to asylum seekers who have been determined to have a "credible fear of prosecution or torture" and are also facing expedited removal (which, Barr explained, happens when an applicant "lack [s] entry documentation or seek [s] admission through fraud or misrepresentation").

As part of the Trump administration's effort to slow migrants from crossing the southern border, Attorney General William Barr has ordered that some of those claiming asylum should be denied bail, meaning they could be stuck behind bars for years, rather than days. The policy will go into effect in 90 days.

The migrants are still eligible to apply for parole, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discretion to do on a case-by-case basis.

Today's decision seeks to lock up even more people who come here seeking asylum. "It's really obscene. We are talking about people who are fleeing for their lives, seeking safety".

The figure is the highest level the agency has seen since its creation in 2003.

According to Barr's opinion, the person seeking asylum could ask for bond, but it is entirely up to DHS.

An "emergency interim report" on the situation at the border released by the Homeland Security Advisory Council on Tuesday described a 600 percent increase in the previous year in the influx of family units arriving at the border, with more than 53,000 families "apprehended" at the border in March alone. Sessions resigned from his position in November, leaving the case to Barr to decide.

Barr wrote that this new rule would not go into effect "for 90 days so that DHS may conduct the necessary operation planning" since it would require the department to house a "sizable population of aliens" who are now "eligible for bond".

In May 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions enacted a zero-tolerance policy which lead to the separation of families along the border.

A federal appeals court late last week lifted an injunction on the administration's relatively new "Migrant Protection Protocols", which will see some asylum seekers wait out their cases in Mexico instead of the U.S.

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