After relenting on family separations due to extraordinary pressure from the media and even from the internal workings of the Republican Party, President Trump has been hamstrung by the same “catch and release” policies of previous administrations. Unable to keep minor children in custody for more than 20 days and unable to separate those children from their parents, he’s been left with little choice but to send these immigrants out into the wilds of America, where many of them will never be seen again.
But in a new memo from the Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr has decided that not every illegal immigrant is appropriate for catch and release. He ruled Tuesday that some aliens should be held without bond until their deportation cases have wound their way through the courts.
“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. I order that, unless DHS paroles the respondent under section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Act, he must be detained until his removal proceedings conclude.”
This is a big win for the administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and anyone interested in getting the border crisis under control. It is a trivial matter for asylum-seekers to “prove” that they have credible fear of persecution in their home countries. In many cases, they essentially memorize a script given to them by immigration activists. There’s no way to check out their stories. There’s no way to properly expedite their hearings. The Border Patrol has to basically take their word for it and let them go with a hearing date. Presto, they’ve made it. If they skip that hearing and remain under the radar, they can live out the rest of their lives in a country where they don’t belong.
By returning to the chapter and verse of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Barr is putting our asylum policies back on firm legal ground. Under that law, it says that immigrants who meet the “credible fear” standard “shall be detained for further consideration of the application for asylum.” Only in such cases that their parole is recommended by “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” should they be allowed to go on their way.
If asylum seekers know there’s a good chance that they will be spending a few years in American detention camps before ultimately having their refugee claim rejected, do you think we might just see a decrease in border crossings?