Washington D.C., Jul 11, 2018 / 10:11 am
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops applauded a recent federal ruling that barred the Trump administration from detaining asylum seekers without case review.
“The ruling is extremely important for the roughly 1000 asylum seekers who are currently detained,” said Ashley Feasley, director of policy for the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services office.
“It provides them with an opportunity for release while their asylum case is pending, or to a hearing to prove that they merit release during the pendency of their case,” she told CNA.
On July 2, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement grant asylum seekers a personal case review and to release them while the hearing process is underway.
According to the Washington Post, immigration advocacy groups claim that asylum seekers have been detained indefinitely despite ICE policy requiring that their cases be reviewed within seven days, or that they be released pending a hearing. Reportedly, immigrants have been jailed for months or years at ICE facilities in five major cities: Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Newark, and Philadelphia.
Boasberg’s ruling gave asylum seekers provisional status for class action litigation. He also restricted ICE from holding applicants beyond seven days if their claims had not been personally reviewed and if a written explanation has not been given for the extended detention.
Citing a 2009 directive from the Department of Homeland Security, he said the degree of risk an undocumented asylum seeker poses must be determined on a case-by-case basis. He said immigrants should be released if they can prove credible danger in their home country.
“This Opinion does no more than hold the Government accountable to its own policy, which recently has been honored more in the breach than the observance. Having extended the safeguards of the Parole Directive to asylum seekers, ICE must now ensure that such protections are realized,” he said in a 38-page opinion piece.