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DHS To Discontinue Long-Term Detention Of Immigrant Families

Father and childrenThe Department of Homeland Security announced important policy changes on June 24th, 2015. DHS Secretary Jeh C. Johnson, in a press release, announced a series of measures meant to curb the long-term detention of families being held in family residential centers. Under these new measures, a family may be eligible for release on bond or through other means. This post will discuss the reason for these measures as well as how an attorney can assist with the process.

The summer of 2014 saw a large spike in illegal immigration from the Central America region. This spike, in part, was due to a large number of families bringing their children with them to America. After visiting the Karnes, Texas residential family center, the Secretary decided that reforms were needed in order to prevent the long-term incarceration of such families while their case is being processed. Accordingly, under a new policy, such families may be released on bond once they have established that they are eligible for asylum or other relief. These families do not have to already been granted asylum – they must have only stated a reasonable case that they fear persecution in their home country.

It is possible for Texas families to quickly establish the criteria necessary to be released on bond. The Secretary’s new directive requires that interviews with parents, regarding the reasons that they fear persecution, be conducted within a reasonable time. Those who do not state a claim for relief will face deportation proceedings without being released from the family residential center.

Retaining an attorney can assist with the process of proving a need for asylum. In order to be eligible for asylum one must show a well-founded fear of returning to their home country. An immigration lawyer’s experience can help one, who is currently detained, in establishing a legitimate fear as opposed to request for asylum based on a general desire to stay in the U.S. Furthermore, even if one is not eligible for asylum, then they may be eligible for other relief. For example, one who could assist in the prosecution of a criminal could possibly be eligible for a U visa.

Our Austin immigration lawyers assist people throughout Texas with asylum petitions as well as other forms of immigration relief. In addition to helping make a case for relief, we will argue that one’s bond should not be set at an unreasonable amount. It goes without saying that a bond requirement which one cannot possibly meet will essentially result in prolonged detention.

Contact us today if your loved ones are being held in a family residential center. We are ready to offer assistance. We service all of Travis County.

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