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ICE's no-release policy for asylum-seekers halted

People in South Carolina may be interested to learn of a recent court action regarding immigration policy in the United States. According to reports, a federal court reportedly halted the Immigration and Custom Enforcement's no-release policy, which the agency had used to detain asylum-seeking women and children who entered the country illegally.

Under the no-release policy, the agency detained women and children who were apparently fleeing persecution in their home countries. The families had to remain in detention while their cases were pending in U.S. immigration court. In its ruling, the court indicated the women and children had shown a credible fear regarding the persecution. The ACLU said the practice discouraged asylum seekers from seeking refuge in the United States.

The ruling will temporarily halt the practice for asylum seekers, allowing them to remain free while their cases are pending. In the past, when it has been determined that would-be immigrants demonstrate credible fear of persecution in their home countries and are seeking asylum, they are not detained while their cases are pending. In order to detain families who are seeking asylum, the court will first need to make an individualized determination regarding whether the asylum seeker is a flight risk or poses a danger to the country.

When someone is seeking asylum in the United States based on a real fear of persecution in their home country, he or she may be allowed to remain in the country until his or her case is decided. People who are seeking asylum often benefit by seeking the help of an immigration and naturalization attorney. An attorney may be better able to present his or her client's case, gather needed documentation, and litigate for his or her status to be granted.

Source: Reuters, "Court temporarily halts U.S. policy of detaining asylum-seeking mothers, children," Feb. 20, 2015

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