by WorldTribune Staff, April 17, 2019
Asylum seekers who demonstrate “credible fear” are no longer eligible to be released on bond, Attorney General William Barr said in a ruling issued on April 16.
“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.
President Donald Trump addressed the issue at a rally earlier this month, saying, “You have people coming up – you know, they’re all met by the lawyers, the lawyers. And they come out, they’re all met by the lawyers and they say, ‘Say the following phrase: I am very afraid for my life. I am afraid for my life.’ It’s a big fat con job, folks.”
Barr’s move, which will go into effect in 90 days, will put a stop to at least one method illegal immigrants use to gain access to the United States.
Thousands of illegals who meet the “credible fear” threshold are released into the interior of the United States pending further immigration proceedings. After being released, most never show up for their scheduled hearings.
Barr’s ruling 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 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the authority to release the asylum-seekers, he wrote.
DHS will have the jurisdiction to parole immigrants. Otherwise, they will be held indefinitely while they wait to appear in front of an immigration judge, Barr said.
Trump said some immigrants have been gaming the asylum system and receiving coaching on how to pass an interview with an asylum officer, even if the immigrant knows they will not ultimately be granted asylum after the full process.
According to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, 80 percent of asylum cases at the southern border do not conclude with entry to the United States.
Meanwhile, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California handed Trump a rare win this week when it lifted a temporary injunction on the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their cases are processed.
The policy serves as an attempt to ease the backlog of cases faced by immigration officials at the southern border. Illegal arrivals are on track to hit 1 million by the end of the year.