Changes by the Department of Homeland Security may give immigrants in California a better chance at presenting a deportation defense and obtaining asylum. The current detention policy has faced increasing criticism by activists and legislators concerned about the poor conditions at immigration detention centers and the associated costs. The change will provide asylum seekers with a better chance at quick release.
Detention centers across the country are currently holding tens of thousands of immigrants, stemming from a dramatic increase in illegal border crossings. Since their opening, reform advocates have called attention to the costs of lengthy detainment, which include emotional damage to the families and cases of abuse.
The new policy gives families who are seeking asylum the ability to post bond instead of being detained until their hearing. They will still be required to make their case in court or face deportation proceedings. Some are criticizing the move away from blanket application of mandatory detention. DHS Secretary Johnson responded by stating that bond amounts for asylum seekers will reflect any danger or flight risk posed by families held in immigration detention centers.
Coming to the U.S. is often a last ditch effort for families desiring economic stability and personal safety. Instead of a chance at a new life, immigrants are too often placed into mandatory detention where they must wait an indeterminable amount of time before having the chance to make an asylum case or mount a deportation defense on other grounds. Immigrants can also face an uphill battle when it comes to facing criminal charges from a detention center. An experienced attorney may be able to help immigrants make a successful argument to remain in the country.