Sunday, March 24, 2019
Immigration Article of the Day: Detained Without Due Process: When Does it End? by Elizabeth Knowles
It’s a Tuesday morning. I walk into the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center with my clinic students to give our legal orientation to the detainees in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) custody who signed up to attend. We get our visitors badges, go through security, and wait to be escorted back to the large visitation room where the weekly orientations take place. The air-lock door opens and we walk into a room of approximately 60 or 70 men in beige jumpsuits. I set down my bag of intake forms and pro se handouts and greet everyone loudly in Spanish, making sure everyone in the back of the room can hear. “Buenos dias!” I scan the room and see familiar faces that are present week after week with no court date and no explanation of what is next for them. I start to survey the room. “Raise your hand if you are waiting for a credible fear interview. Raise your hand if you’ve already passed your interview. Raise your hand if you have applied for parole. Keep your hand up if your parole request was granted.” All the hands go down. After I ask my initial questions, individuals walk up with parole denials in their hands, some with no boxes checked at all, others approach me with 90-day continued detention determination notices -- confused faces surround me, asking what the notices say, what they mean. Many are seeking asylum and I know that most of them won’t have lawyers and will be detained until their proceedings are complete -- likely for several months and some beyond a year.