Sunday, January 12, 2020
President Trump has justified detention of asylum seekers based on the claim that, if not kept in custody, they would not appear for hearings on their claims in immigration court. Nicole Narea for Vox reports on the latest data that undermines the President's claim:
"About 99 percent of asylum seekers who were not detained or who were previously released from immigration custody showed up for their hearings over the last year, according to new data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, a think tank that tracks data in the immigration courts."
There are alternatives to detention, such as the use of ankle monitors. In addition, Narea notes that "low-cost alternatives to keeping immigrants in detention or sending them abroad, includ[e] the now-defunct Obama-era Family Case Management Program. Under that program, which Trump ended in June 2017, families were released and assigned to social workers who aided them in finding attorneys and accommodation and ensured that they showed up for their court hearings.
The program was small in scale, with no more than 1,600 people enrolled at any one time, but appeared to be successful in ensuring that 99 percent of participants showed up for their court appearances and ICE check-ins."