by Brian Hayes
This is massive. There’s just no way to understate this move by Attorney General William Barr. It quite simply changes everything at the border.
Barr just ruled that asylum-seekers must be detained during deportation proceedings.
Keep in mind that when it comes to the thousands of U.S. immigration judges, an edict by the A.G. has the legal force of a Supreme Court ruling.
As NBCNews put it, “Under U.S. law, the attorney general has the right to overturn the decisions of immigration judges and establish sweeping new precedents, such as this.”
Attorney General William Barr said in a new ruling issued Tuesday that asylum-seekers who are able to demonstrate a “credible fear” and are then sent to full deportation proceedings are not eligible to be released on bond.
The ruling, which will go into effect in 90 days, states that a previous decision allowing for asylum-seekers to be released on bond while their case is being heard by an immigration judge was incorrect. Only the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to release the asylum-seekers, he wrote.
“I conclude that such aliens remain ineligible for bond, whether they are arriving at the border or are apprehended in the United States,” Barr wrote.
Barr is overturning a 2005 ruling that determined that asylum-seekers are eligible for bond if they are able to exhibit they have credible fear of persecution or danger if they leave the U.S.
But the attorney general argues that, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the administration is permitted to detain all undocumented immigrants who were initially placed in expedited removal proceedings but then passed the credible fear test and were transferred to a full hearing before an immigration judge.
He also pointed to a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that found that the law did not place limits on how long an immigrant can be detained.
The SCOTUS ruling to which Barr referred came down last month, 5-4 and backed the Trump administration’s ability to detain immigrants with criminal records at any time and hold them indefinitely while they await deportation, even if they served time for their offense years ago.
The ruling will not affect all asylum-seekers, such as many “families” — (adults who can prove the kids are actually theirs) due to the Flores Settlement. But Trump advisers have hinted that Barr’s next move may be to scrap Flores as well, which would seal the border tight, and cause many a “caravan” to not even bother.
Barr delayed the order 90 days, in order to give DHS time to seek more beds, or build “tent cities,” as has been hinted for months.
This ruling is massive, and will affect tens- and likely hundreds of thousands of migrants who have been flooding the U.S. border, mainly from Central America, to take advantage of the quick bond-release merry-go-round in the immigration courts.
That ride is now officially CLOSED.
Finally, on immigration, Americans have an Attorney General they deserve.