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Sanity Breaks

Sanity Break: Feds to Stop Detaining Asylum Seekers

December 16th, 2009 by Celeste Fremon


Now for a short pause in my personal Lieberman-induced fury
to put forth a brief Sanity Break:

The NY Times filed this a few hours ago:

The Obama administration says it will stop detaining asylum seekers who have a credible fear of persecution in their home countries.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton says beginning Jan. 4, asylum seekers can temporarily enter the U.S. if they meet certain criteria.

They must establish their identities, they cannot be dangerous or a flight risk, and they must have a credible fear of persecution or torture.

Currently, foreigners who come to the U.S. without valid documents can be immediately deported. Many are detained while their asylum requests are considered.

The Center for Investigative Reporting has more:

CE Assistant Secretary John Morton said in a statement that the new policy, which changes the agency’s stance on locking up people who ask for protection when they arrive at border crossings, is part of ongoing efforts to reform immigration detention.

“These new parole procedures for asylum seekers will help ICE focus both on protecting against major threats to public safety and implementing common-sense detention policies,” he said.

The new guidelines give the government authority to allow asylum seekers who have not been formally allowed into the country to remain out of immigration jail if they meet requirements determined by an asylum officer or an immigration judge. Normally foreign nationals who seek entrance into the United States but are without a visa or other valid travel documents are not permitted into the country.

Here, for example are a couple of a stories from earlier this year done by CIR and the LA Times, about a Mexican police officer seeking asylum in the U.S. due to death threats resulting from the Mexican drug wars.

Photo by Victor Calzada/El Paso Times

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