As Sponsors, we petition for an Asylum Seeker’s release from detention into our homes and stand beside them while they pursue protection in the United States.
IMPRISONMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IMPEDES A MEANINGFUL PETITION FOR PROTECTION FROM PERSECUTION
DETENTION OF ASYLUM SEEKERS VIOLATES OUR INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS
UNHCR 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols Relating to Refugees Detention Guidelines Include:
Detention is not to be used to discourage pleading asylum.
It cannot be used to punish illegal entry or lack of documents, both of which are misdemeanors.
Detention cannot be used merely for ensuring court appearances. There are less restrictive - yet still effective - alternatives.
Detention cannot be arbitrary. It should only be used on explicitly defined, relevant grounds, specific to the individual.
Detention conditions must be dignified and humane. Asylum seekers have not committed a crime and should not be housed in prison-like conditions.
If used, the period of detention must be clearly defined and must be regularly reviewed.
DETENTION PREVENTS ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM EFFECTIVELY PRESENTING THEIR LEGAL CASE
Contacting a lawyer is problematic, particularly if pro bono services are necessary.
Understanding and submitting paperwork accurately while in detention is challenging if the Asylum Seeker does not have an excellent command of English. Translation services are unreliable.
Locating, requesting and assembling supportive documents is difficult with restricted outside communication.
Frequent transferring among facilities across the country inhibits the support of family and friends. It may also limit communication with legal counsel.
Poor conditions, an unknown period of confinement, abuse, isolation, and being treated as a criminal lead to hopelessness, depression and despair. The opportunity to abandon their case and self-deport is regularly offered.