Monday, September 16, 2019

Attorney General Barr rules asylum-seekers must be detained during deportation proceedings

Attorney General William Barr said in a new ruling issued Tuesday that asylum-seekers who are able to demonstrate a “credible fear” and are then sent to full deportation proceedings are not eligible to be released on bond.

The ruling, which will go into effect in 90 days, states that a previous decision allowing for asylum-seekers to be released on bond while their case is being heard by an immigration judge was incorrect. Only DHS has the authority to release the asylum-seekers, he wrote.

“I conclude that such aliens remain ineligible for bond, whether they are arriving at the border or are apprehended in the United States,” Barr wrote. Barr is overturning a 2005 ruling that determined that asylum-seekers are eligible for bond if they are able to prove they have credible fear of persecution or danger if they leave the U.S.

But the attorney general argues that, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the administration is permitted to detain all undocumented immigrants who were initially placed in expedited removal proceedings but then passed the credible fear test and were transferred to a full hearing before an immigration judge. He also pointed to a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that found that the law did not place limits on how long an immigrant can be detained.

Some asylum-seekers are exempted from this rule, including families and unaccompanied migrant children. Barr’s directive comes shortly after a federal judge in Washington state ruled that certain asylum-seekers who request a hearing before an immigration judge must be granted that hearing within seven days or be released.

And the rule comes amid a legal battle on the Trump administration’s policy requiring that asylum-seekers remain in Mexico while their cases are under consideration. A federal judge last week issued an injunction against the policy, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay for that order as it considers the administration’s appeal.

THE HILL