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Immigration detention and seeking asylum

The process of seeking asylum in the U.S. involves a wide range of things. Some data suggests that, for a good number of asylum seekers, a fair amount of time in immigration detention is included among these things.

The statistics regard 2014. According to the statistics, that year, over 44,000 individuals who were seeking asylum in the U.S. were in immigration detention. Reportedly, this made up over three-fourths of all individuals seeking asylum whose case was in court proceedings.

Now, it hasn’t always been the case that being in detention was so common among asylum seekers, according to a recent PRI article. The article pointed to legislation that was passed in the 1990s being a turning point on this front. The law in question is the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.

Among the mechanisms this law put in place was a detention process for asylum seekers that remains in force today. Under this process, it is generally mandatory to initially put a person who comes to an airport or port of entry in the U.S. seeking asylum into immigration detention. How long this detainment lasts depends on various things including what officials end up determining regarding the credibility of the asylum claim and the flight risk of the person making the claim.

Purportedly, the intent behind this mechanism was to protect national security and to cut down on abuse of the asylum process. However, there are some who argue that this mechanism is broader than necessary to further these goals and that the system needs reform.

What do you think of current U.S. practices regarding detaining asylum seekers?

One wonders what the future will see regarding detention and asylum here in America.

What happens to them in regards to detention can have major impacts on an asylum seeker and what their life is like as their asylum case is processed. So, it can be important for such individuals to understand what options they have when it comes to detention issues. Asylum lawyers can provide asylum seekers with guidance on matters related to detention and other impactful matters that can come up when seeking asylum.

Source: PRI, “20 years ago, asylum seekers were not automatically put in immigration detention,” Maura Ewing, Dec. 15, 2016

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber