According to Newsweek, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have teamed up to sue the United States government for refusing to grant parole to twelve asylum seekers currently being held in immigrant detention facilities in Louisiana and Alabama. According to the lawsuit, there was no legal reason given for their detention, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is “categorically denying” parole to asylum seekers, despite department rules that strongly favor granting asylum seekers parole.
Under immigration law, anyone who seeks asylum in the United States by presenting themselves at a point of entry and can: a) identify themselves, and b) prove that they are not a danger or flight risk, are supposed to be released from custody on parole. Indeed, as recently as ten years ago, a full 90% of all asylum applicants who met those requirements were released from custody. However, the Louisiana field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for detaining these asylum seekers, granted only two of the 130 parole applications from its district in 2018.
Worse still, because these asylum seekers do not have the right to seek release from an immigration judge, they must seek a remedy directly from DHS itself. Thus far, DHS has been steadfast in maintaining their policy of refusing to grant parole to these asylum seekers, leaving them stuck in ICE detention facilities for months on end. The lawsuit additionally claims that conditions in these facilities are abhorrent, with detainees treated in dehumanizing or degrading ways, and with poor access to healthcare when they get sick or injured.
If you are a non-citizen looking to make an asylum application, or are having trouble with any other immigration issue, please call the attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP. We will help you through the difficult process of applying for asylum status, protecting your rights and giving you the best chance possible at attaining legal residency. To schedule a consultation with our New York immigration lawyers, call (212) 267-2555.