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Joe Biden Detained Tens of Thousands of Asylum-Seekers in the Last Year

Joe Biden Detained Tens of Thousands of Asylum-Seekers in the Last Year

By The Intercept

President Joe Biden’s immigration policies on the U.S.-Mexico border have fueled the prolonged detention of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers in the past year, according to a new report by a human rights group. Nearly all the immigrants apprehended by authorities during the period were taken into custody in a region where asylum access has been largely shuttered since March 2020 and where anyone who asks for asylum outside a port of entry — a right enshrined under domestic and international law — is considered a threat until proved otherwise.

Drawing from nearly 300 individual accounts, the 66-page report, published Thursday by Human Rights First, describes activists, dissidents, student organizers, and others fleeing persecution in dozens of countries, only to languish for months in U.S. detention centers.

The report documents dehumanizing conditions within those centers; heightened levels of racist and abusive treatment of Black and LGTBQ+ asylum-seekers; children held in adult facilities; massive legal and economic challenges for those in custody; and the ongoing separation of families across the U.S-Mexico divide.

“Detention is dehumanizing, dangerous, and cruel. It fuels family separation and re-traumatizes people.”

“Detention is dehumanizing, dangerous, and cruel,” Rebecca Gendelman, an associate attorney for refugee protection at Human Rights First and lead author of the report, told The Intercept. “It cuts off access to legal representation and information, preventing asylum-seekers from fairly representing their claims for protection. It inflicts physical and psychological harm. It fuels family separation and re-traumatizes people — including those who were detained, tortured, beaten, and threatened by the governments of the countries they fled — and it coerces people into giving up on their claims.”

The report comes just a month before the Biden administration is expected to lift Title 42. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rule issued by the Trump administration in March 2020 — over the objections of career public health professionals at the agency — Title 42 has been used to summarily expel or rebuff most migrants, including asylum-seekers, at and between official ports of entry. With the lifting of the order, advocates and law enforcement…

Read Full Story At: The Intercept

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