Trends in Immigration Detention for Asylum Seekers

Trends in Immigration Detention for Asylum Seekers

A recent article details how the nation’s attitudes, as well as the actions of immigration authorities, have changed over time. Twenty years ago, individuals who came to the United States seeking political asylum did not automatically land in immigration detention. With the World Trade Center bombing by Islamic extremists that killed six people and injured more than 1,000 people in 1993, however, views of those seeking asylum began to rapidly change. When it came to light that the Islamic extremists were following Omar Abdel-Rahman, a radical sheik, who had been living in the U.S. despite being on a terrorist watch list and having had his green card revoked, the public began to take a dim view of political asylum. A 60 Minutes episode with conservative commentators fueled the fire by describing how easy it was to claim political asylum and be permitted to live and work in the U.S. for years with little or no scrutiny. It was only a matter of time before a bi-partisan effort resulted in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. This law made the detention of asylum seekers a routine practice while immigration authorities processed their claims. Although the goal of the law reportedly was to prevent the admission of dangerous foreign terrorists to the U.S., the main result was a huge increase in immigration detention. By 2014, immigration authorities had detained 77% of asylum seekers undergoing court proceedings, which amounted to more than 44,000 immigrants in detention. As a result of the 1996 law, immigration authorities now must detain any immigrant now who comes to an airport or border crossing and declares an intention to seek asylum. If authorities determine that an individual’s fear of persecution by his or her native country is not credible, then the individual is placed in expedited removal proceedings without ever entering a courtroom. Even if the authorities determine that the individual has a credible fear, he or she is likely to be detained unless authorities decide that the individual is not a flight risk and can pay a bond, which is often unrealistic. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., knows federal immigration law and has the experience to guide you and advocate on your behalf throughout any type of deportation proceeding, no matter what the allegations may be. We are familiar with the wide range of defenses that are available to individuals facing deportation, and how to build the strongest defense that is available to you, based on the evidence relevant to your case. Contact your California deportation defense lawyers today, and discover what we can do for you
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