Published: Fri, April 19, 2019

United States ruling to expand indefinite detention for some asylum seekers

United States ruling to expand indefinite detention for some asylum seekers

The ruling, which is Barr's first immigration-related decision since he took office, brings an end to the standard process, which typically sees asylum seekers who cross into the us between designated ports of entry allowed to ask a judge to grand them bond for release.

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"). The ruling is available below.

The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged overcrowding many of their detention centers along the border earlier this month and requested the 90-day delay after Barr's ruling on Tuesday.

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.

Barr's instruction to immigration judges, whom the attorney general oversees and are not part of the judicial branch, comes out of a case involving an Indian man who was picked up "50 miles" away from the southern border in Mexico and claimed asylum.

Barr's decision comes as the administration deploys a range of strategies to deter what officials say is an influx of families crossing the USA border and seeking asylum.


The American Civil Liberties Union said late Tuesday that the plan was unconstitutional and that it planned on suing. His predecessor, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, issued several immigration decisions during his tenure at the Justice Department, including an order restricting the ability of migrants to seek asylum based on domestic violence or gang violence. The change does not apply to unaccompanied minors or families, who can not be detained for more than 20 days under a separate federal agreement, known as the Flores settlement, as well as migrants who ICE decides to release on parole.

Barr's ruling, which will take effect in 90 days, acts on President Donald Trump's frequent calls to end what he calls the "catch and release" policy, officially known as "release on recognizance", which allows eligible immigrants to be released from detention and live in the United States while waiting for their asylum claims to be decided.

"The decision could result in the unlawful detention of thousands of people". Last month U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the increase in the number of family units and unaccompanied children has led to a "humanitarian crisis". "The constitution does not allow the government to lock people up without due process". Of the remaining 40,000, the majority were asylum seekers without children who are targeted by the attorney general's order. A Supreme Court ruling previous year upheld a modified version of the evidently unconstitutional Muslim ban, barring visitors and refugees from seven mainly Muslim countries.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Well, before this decision was announced, standard policy was that asylum seekers in detention could ask for a bond hearing. And migrant families and children won't be affected by this decision - at least not for now - because there are strict limits on how long immigration authorities can detain children, in particular, under a longstanding federal court settlement.

Barr's decision came after former attorney general Jeff Sessions chose to review the case in October.

A federal judge last week issued an injunction against the measure, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay for that order as it considers the administration's appeal.

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