Trump Administration: U.S. Will Deny Bond to Asylum Seekers
Recently, asylum has been discussed often in the news and in major U.S. political forums. Unfortunately, this is due to the Trump Administration’s continual effort to reduce rights for potential asylees. In fact, the administration has even attempted to block certain people from seeking asylum at all. This prejudicial behavior harms vulnerable people from across the world, yet the greatest victims at the moment are those from Central and South America. Migrants and refugees from these countries, after arduous journeys to the U.S. southern border, have been blocked and mistreated by U.S. border patrol and law enforcement.
Last week, the Trump administration chipped away another important right for potential asylees: the right to bond. This article reviews Attorney General William Barr’s recent announcement and discusses its implications for asylum seekers. We also review the opinions of opponents of Barr’s actions.
If you are seeking asylum, you need proper legal representation. This is because the path to asylum is riddled with challenges and potential snares. Thus, your greatest ally and guide will be your immigration attorney. Davis & Associates is skilled in providing assistance to refugees and asylees throughout America. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
William Barr: Judges Cannot Provide Bond to Asylum Seekers
Previously, certain asylum seekers had the right to request bond from an immigration judge once they passed a credible fear screening. This protected many people from indefinite detention, which can cause profound harm and psychological damage. This right came from a 2005 ruling and immigration judges continued to follow precedent, as is usual.
Yet, on April 16, Attorney General William Barr reversed the 2005 ruling, stating that immigration judges will no longer be able to provide bond to any asylum seekers. According to the attorney general, the Department of Justice (DOJ) doesn’t have the right to free asylum seekers – such control only sits with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In defending his decision, Barr cited the U.S. Supreme Court as well as the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This is because the Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that U.S. law did not place any formal limits on length of detention.
This ruling strips essential rights and protections from thousands who now face the frightening reality of long-term incarceration. In short, it is the latest in a long line of attempts by the Trump administration to limit legal protections for migrants and asylum seekers. The new policy takes effect in 90 days, but opponents will likely challenge it sooner in U.S. courts.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) controls immigration courts. This causes, at least in the present day, a severe conflict of interest between the Trump administration and immigration judges. Judges should not be under the control of the nation’s top prosecutor; they should possess independence. Judicial objectivity is essential and prevents prejudicial motives and biases that infiltrate from politics.
Who Could Request Bond?
Barr’s ruling only applies to a certain group of asylum seekers. Any person apprehended by ICE or border patrol and entered into deportation proceedings (including expedited removal) can technically request asylum if they fear persecution in their home country. When this happens, the asylum seeker(s) must pass a “credible fear” screening. Any potential asylee who passes their screening exits standard deportation proceedings and receives consideration for defensive asylum.
The DOJ oversees defensive asylum because all such proceedings occur in immigration courts. Any asylum seeker who has undergone the above steps typically would have the ability to request bond from an immigration judge. Now, Barr states this cannot occur. These potential asylees now face unlimited sentences while they await final court rulings.
As a note, asylum seekers who surrender themselves to U.S. officials at border crossings are not eligible for bond. Thus, this ruling does not apply to this group.
Barr Faced Immediate Opposition
While Barr’s actions sent shock waves throughout America, some spoke out. This includes Ashley Tabbador, who is an immigration judge. Tabbador stated that Barr’s decision is “highly problematic.”
According to Tabbador, “immigration court proceedings should…be removed from the Justice Department and be outside the purview of the political usage of the court as an extension of law enforcement.”
Davis & Associates continues to monitor the situation and will report any relevant updates as they become available.
Work with an Experienced Miami Immigration Lawyer
Across America, immigration attorneys protect asylum seekers every day. Proper legal counsel is a necessary protection from the current U.S. volatile political environment. Immigration attorneys provide guidance, comfort, and can ensure proper procedures and fair consideration. If you are seeking asylum, contact Davis & Associates today to get started with a professional attorney and our caring legal team.
Our team specializes in immigration law exclusively, which means that our lawyers are highly qualified and leaders in their field. For your convenience, initial consultations are always free. Contact us today to schedule a time to speak with an expert attorney face-to-face. Don’t lose hope – Davis & Associates can help!