Colorado residents might be interested in learning that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the federal government because of detentions of asylum seekers. The lawsuit was filed on May 17 in federal court against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
According to the complaint, the ACLU alleges that ICE has chosen to detain people who are seeking asylum instead of releasing them on humanitarian parole while they wait for their hearings. When immigrants present themselves to immigration authorities at the border and ask for asylum, they first undergo the credible fear test. People who do not pass the test are deported immediately. Those who do must have hearings at which their requests for asylum will be considered. It can take months for the hearings to be scheduled.
In the past, a majority of asylum-seekers were released into the community on humanitarian parole while they waited for their hearings. The ACLU claims that the percentage of people granted parole has fallen from 90 percent in 2013 to zero under the Trump administration in five different locations, including El Paso, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Newark. ICE claims that there hasn’t been a policy shift.
People who are granted asylum and refugee status are able to live and work in the U.S. Those who are waiting for their hearings on their requests for asylum might want to talk to experienced immigration lawyers. If they are being detained pending their hearings, the lawyers might be able to secure their release on humanitarian parole. They might also represent their clients at their hearings and present evidence supporting the petitions for asylum.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “ACLU sues government over detention of asylum seekers,” Associated Press, May 17, 2018