William Barr: Jail many asylum seekers indefinitely while cases wind through courts

17 Avril, 2019, 19:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Catch and Release

On Tuesday, Barr decided that some asylum seekers who have established credible fear of returning to their home countries and are facing deportation will no longer be eligible to be released on bond by immigration judges while their cases are pending.

Barr's reversal serves as another Justice Department attempt to deter migrants from seeking asylum at the border or once they inside the United States.

"I reverse the order granting bond to the respondent", Barr wrote in his decision, stating that unless the Department of Homeland Security grants parole under a special exception, under the applicable legal provisions "he must be detained until his removal proceedings conclude".

It's Barr's first immigration-related decision since taking office.

The adjudication of asylum claims could take months or years - given the backlog of cases and lack of immigration judges.

US Attorney General William Barr's decision means more migrants can be indefinitely detained while they wait for their cases to be heard.

Mr Barr's ruling does not affect asylum seekers who cross as official ports of entry or migrant children, who are required to be released within 20 days of entry.

Barr said he was delaying the effective date by 90 days "so that DHS may conduct the necessary operational planning for additional detention and parole decisions".

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"The decision could result in the unlawful detention of thousands of people". "It's really obscene. We are talking about people who are fleeing for their lives, seeking safety".

Today's decision seeks to lock up even more people who come here seeking asylum. The agency had written in a brief in the case arguing that eliminating bond hearings for the asylum seekers would have "an immediate and significant impact on.detention operations".

In early March, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency responsible for detaining and deporting immigrants in the country illegally, said the average daily population of immigrants in detention topped 46,000 for the 2019 fiscal year, the highest level since the agency was created in 2003.

He has implored Congress to change these laws and has made numerous attempts to stymie immigration, most notably separating children from their parents at the border past year.

But under the new ruling, those migrants must be now kept in detention as they await the outcome of their trial. Barr says in similar cases bail can be withheld. "We'll see the administration in court", Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement.

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

Honduran asylum seekers are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents after the group crossed the border wall into San Diego, Calif., seen from Tijuana, Mexico.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in a ruling affirmed that migrants detained by immigration authorities do not have the right to be held in the same state as their children.

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