Asylum seekers beware. An order handed down by U.S Attorney General William Barr this week will allow immigration officials to keep thousands of illegal aliens in custody for months, if not years.
Barr's directive says asylum seekers who begin in expedited removal and then move to full removal proceedings should not be released on bond.
“Probably just the prospect of detention as stated in the Attorney General’s order will be sufficient to deter a number of individuals from coming to the United States,” says Andrew "Art" Arthur is a former immigration judge working with the Center for Immigration Studies.
“If you’re coming to the United States to work and you’re detained and not able to work, and you don’t have a valid asylum claim, it’s not going to be worth your money to pay a smuggler,” he says.“If you have a valid asylum claim, then in essence you are protected during the time you are in custody.”
Christopher Hajec at the Immigration Reform Law Institute agrees.
“The more that word gets out that you’re held in detention until your removal proceeding or your asylum proceeding, the less likely you are to come if you have a bogus claim.”
But he says illegal aliens do have the option of returning home rather than remaining in custody.
“You can always leave that detention if you have a bogus claim by saying you want to go home and pursue your claim from abroad,” he says.
The ACLU and others already are threatening legal challenges to the order.