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AG ruling could keep asylum-seekers in detention centers

Tennessee residents may be interested in learning about a new precedent that could impact thousands of asylum-seekers along the Southwest border of the United States. Attorney General William Barr would like asylum-seekers who start in expedited removal and then are transferred to full removal procedures to not be discharged on bond.

In the past, asylum-seekers could be let out on bond and live in the United States while they awaited a decision on their case. With the Attorney General's decision, which came on April 16, these individuals will now have to wait in detention centers. Wait times could be anywhere from months to a year. This decision could be difficult for ICE since space to hold immigrants is limited. State and local jails as well as private prison companies are often awarded ICE contracts in order to house surplus immigrants.

This decision may affect many asylum-seekers trying to cross the Southwest border. It is common for immigrants who come without documents or with papers that may be fraudulent to be placed in expedited removal. This means that they do not have a chance to go through an interview with an asylum officer in order to establish that they have credible fear. Around 90 percent of asylum-seekers pass this interview when they are given the opportunity.

Families who try to enter the United States and have children younger than 18 will not be affected by this decision. This is because of a federal court decision that prevents children under 18 from being held for more than 20 days.

Individuals who seek asylum in the United States may wish to speak with an immigration law attorney. Legal counsel could advise a client on the type of paperwork that needs to be filed and other issues that relate to immigration.

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