Attorney General Barr Decides Asylum Seekers Ineligible for Bond Release

Canary. Photo by 4028mdk09.

According to The Daily Beast via BuzzFeed’s immigration reporter Hamed Aleaziz catch, “Attorney General William Barr ruled on Tuesday that migrants seeking asylum who have been transferred out of “expedited” removal proceedings to full removal proceedings are ineligible to be released on bond before their asylum claim is decided.”

On Tuesday Barr released an 11-page decision on Tuesday, titled, Matter of M-S-, Respondent.

According to the ruling, Barr claimed that migrants who were first facing court proceedings from “front-line immigration enforcement officers” at the Department of Homeland Security, and then transferred to “full” proceedings before immigration judges after their asylum claim was deemed credible, could not be released before the conclusion of the court proceedings. “An alien who is transferred from expedited removal proceedings to full removal proceedings after establishing a credible fear of persecution or torture is ineligible for release on bond,” Barr wrote.

“Such an alien must be detained until his removal proceedings conclude, unless he is granted parole.” According to BuzzFeed News, only DHS can decide to release the migrant while their asylum claim goes through the court system. The ruling takes effect in 90 days. However, DHS reportedly cannot hold families or unaccompanied in detention for more than 20 days due to the Flores Settlement.

[The Flores Settlement involves when in 1997, “the U.S. government reached an agreement known as the Flores Settlement Agreement, which arose out of Flores v. Reno, a 1987 California case. … The Flores settlement also mandates that INS operates with a policy favoring release to a parent, legal guardian, adult relative or licensed program.”]

According to the New York Times, it is seen as a “step to discourage migrants from seeking asylum the order” that “could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely while they wait for a resolution of their asylum requests.”

The order issued by Attorney General William P. Barr was an effort to deliver on President Trump’s promise to end the “catch and release” of migrants crossing the border in hopes of escaping persecution in their home countries.

The order — which directs immigration judges to deny some migrants a chance to post bail — will not go into effect for 90 days. It is all but certain to be challenged in federal court, but immigrant rights lawyers said it could undermine the basic rights of people seeking safety in the United States.

“They want to send a message that you will get detained,” said Judy Rabinovitz, a deputy director of the Immigrants Rights’ Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We are talking about people who are fleeing for their lives, seeking safety. And our response is just lock them up.”


In the border city of Yuma, Ariz., Mayor Douglas Nicholls declared an emergency on Tuesday over what he said was the “imminent threat” posed by “too many migrant releases into our community.” Mr. Nicholls said that he was seeking help from state and federal authorities.

Mr. Barr’s decision could add to the overcrowding crisis in the immigrant detention centers by requiring judges to keep asylum seekers in jail for longer periods. In his 11-page order, Mr. Barr appeared to concede the reality of the problem.

“I will delay the effective date of this decision for 90 days so that D.H.S. may conduct the necessary operational planning for additional detention and parole decisions,” Mr. Barr wrote.

AP White House reporter Zeke Miller wrote on Twitter: “Fmr WH aide Cliff Sims quotes Stephen Miller in his book: “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil,” Miller said.”

For full content and context of Barr’s decision read the DOJ released paper.

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