In April, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government would no longer offer bond hearings to detained immigrants. The new policy was aimed at the surge of immigrants appearing at the border to apply for asylum. Historically, individuals who passed the initial credible fear interview then applied for asylum and were released pending their court date.
Under the new policy, however, these individuals would remain detained until an immigration court heard their asylum claims. Barr stated that this policy would go into effect on July 15, 2019. The net result of the policy would be to keep between 15,000 and $40,000 immigrants in custody for six months or more while their asylum claims played out in the immigration courts.
Immigrant advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, immediately filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit to block the policy. These organizations claim that the move violates the Fifth Amendment right to due process. A federal judge in Seattle now has ruled that immigrants who enter the country seeking asylum are entitled by the U.S. Constitution to have a bond hearing.
Typically, about half of asylum-seekers gain release on bond. To do so, they must prove to the immigration court that they are not a flight risk and pose no threat to the public. When asylum-seekers are released on bond, they may be able to reunite with family members and may have a better chance of obtaining legal counsel. These factors often make a significant difference in the outcome of an asylum claim.
No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case successfully.