“Now that they provide the opportunity of parole, they put as many obstacles as possible,” said a lawyer from the southern law center for poverty, quoted by NBC News.
Two weeks ago, Karina Serrano Rodriguez was escorted to a computer terminal in the detention Centre in southern Louisiana to prepare her case for asylum before an immigration judge review. The woman learned that will finally be able to get parole.
27-year-old Rodriguez, seeking asylum immigrant from Cuba, spent 8 months in the detention center, located in Basile, after three months of waiting in Ojinaga, Mexico, in accordance with the protocols of the administration of the trump.
Rodriguez was thrilled when she learned about an opportunity to go free — until she announced that parole will cost $10 000.
“It’s like a bucket of cold water on the head, said Serrano, who now lives with relatives in Tampa, Florida. — I was desperate because I didn’t know where my family will find the money.”
Lawyers and human rights groups say that Serrano is a part of a small but growing number of asylum seekers from detention centers in Louisiana, which is conditionally-early release from obligations — which is unusual for “arriving aliens,” as the immigrants called at ports of entry in the United States.
“This is an unorthodox step,” said Mitch Gonzalez, staff attorney southern law center for poverty, working on the trial field office immigration and customs enforcement in New Orleans.
“Now that they provide the opportunity of parole, they put as many obstacles as possible,” said Gonzalez.
According to Gonzalez, immigration judges and ICE officers usually require collateral for people with specific circumstances such as criminal history or the unauthorized entry into the country. In accordance with the Directive of the ICE, 2009 the collateral was not prescribed as a condition for the release of legitimate asylum-seekers. Immigration judges have no jurisdiction in relation to detention of asylum-seekers, and only ICE decides whether they will get parole.
However, ICE officials require a Deposit in the amount of $10 000 to $30 000, a very large sum for relatives and friends of detainees.
Asylum seekers and lawyers say that the detainees were not informed on why their release, Deposit required.
Brian Cox, Director of public relations of southern region of ICE, told NBC News that he is not sure whether the ICE tracks this type of data, and if so, he’s not sure he will be able to provide information because of the ongoing judicial process.
The southern law center for poverty and the American civil liberties Union filed a series of cases against local ICE office in New Orleans for what they call “General policy”, consisting in the fact that the asylum seekers were locked up. The organization won a lawsuit in September: a Federal judge ordered ICE every month reported on the number of asylum-seekers, parole field office in New Orleans.
Even after lawsuits, the ICE started to provide numbers, Gonzalez is skeptical.
“We do not think that the data is accurate. We believe that they understate the number,” said Gonzalez.
ICE field office in New Orleans is notorious that, in fact, ceased to grant parole to prisoners. In 2016 more than 75% of asylum-seekers under its jurisdiction, has received parole. This number decreased dramatically to 1.5% in 2018, and in 2019 was released only three people out of thousands of prisoners.
Recently no data on the number of asylum seekers released on bail. Information received from lawyers and based on interviews with people, so it cannot be considered official.
When Serrano informed about her parole, three more women have received the same opportunity, also for $10,000 each. According to Serrano, all women, like herself, the Cuban, having no criminal history, and all have families in the United States.
Homero Lopez, Executive Director of immigration and legal protection in New Orleans, said he rarely met asylum seekers on parole after paying large mortgages.
“It’s extremely unusual,” said Lopez, adding that he had only seen it a few times over 10 years of experience.
To find the money difficult. Since many do not have jobs because of the pandemic of the mers families is difficult to raise money. The collateral funds have been exhausted across the country and have now very limited resources, unable to meet the demands.
29-year-old Yaneisy peña Torres from Cuba was on parole from a detention Center in southern Louisiana on 3 June after 10 months of detention, and she was twice denied release.
Peña Torres signed a contract with the company collateral to the payment of $10,000, which was attached to her parole. She’s looking for a job in Miami, but worry that you will not be able to find. She needs the bail bonds company $300 a month.
“This abuse of power. They don’t care about us, said peña Torres. — There are women who are in prison more than a year, which are going crazy in this hell.”
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