tv Discussion Focuses on Detention and Removal of Asylum Seekers CSPAN August 6, 2016 4:24pm-6:19pm EDT
>> tonight, c-span's issue spotlight looks at police and race relations. we will show president obama at the memorial service for five police officers shot and killed in dallas. president obama: when the bullets started flying, the men and women of the dallas police -- they did not flinch, and they did not react recklessly. >> south carolina republican senator tim scott during a speech on the lower about his own interactions with police. senator scott: the vast majority of the time, i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial. >> our program also includes one family story about a family
with police and washington, d.c. >> most people get defensive if they feel like you are being offensive. respectful and an encounter, and if it's not a crisis or dangerous situation -- -- thoseersus demands things change the dynamic little bit. >> watch our spotlight tonight .n c-span and www.c-span.org >> there's a rise in the number of asylum seekers held for long periods in u.s. detention centers according to a new report. who requestugees protection at u.s. borders are sent to facilities that are like criminal prisons. a panel discussed a report at an event in washington, d.c. this week. it's about two hours.
>> thank you, everyone. coming andte you all getting here. we know it was quite an endeavor and we are terrifically happy to have such a great audience with us. take their seats who are still milling around the room, and we will start in just about one minute. ok, i think we are good. i am the senior director for refugee protection at human rights first, a u.s.-based human rights organization that advocates for u.s. leadership on human rights globally and u.s. compliance with human rights
commitments here at home. i want to begin by thanking the and the of jones day firm head of pro bono here at jones day for their hospitality in welcoming us today and hosting today's event. we greatly appreciate the pro bono work of jones day and other law firms who are representing asylum-seekers including children and many who are held in immigration detention and undergo the expedited removal process, both of which we will be discussing today. pro bono lawyers witness many obstacles to legal counsel, to justice, and to fairness that face asylum-seekers who are subjected to expedited removal and detention in our immigration system. in the wake of world war ii, the united states helped lead efforts to create a regime that had rules and conventions that would govern human rights and refugee protection so that people who fled from persecution
would have safe haven and no longer be at risk. to bind itself to the provisions of the united nations convention relating to the status of refugees when it signed on to the refugee protocol, and the u.s., as you also know, is a party to the international covenant on civil and political rights. in 1990 six, the u.s. congress enacted into the u.s. immigration law a process known as expedited removal, and that is a summary deportation process that sets up a gauntlet that people have to pass through -- asylum-seekers have to pass through before they are even allowed to apply for asylum. the panelists today will be describing that process in detail as well as some of the challenges in that process. due to that process, many legitimate asylum-seekers do not even get a chance to apply for asylum or face great difficulties in the midst of that process.
those who undergo the process and succeed in passing that gauntlet are often held in immigration detention for many months, sometimes longer. in 2005, the u.s. commission on international religious freedom issued a comprehensive report on the treatment of asylum-seekers in expedited removal and into tension. after that, they issued a number of report cards and a report on detention, and as we will here report, new, updated over 10 years after that initial report. you of the same problems as will here today still exist in the expedited removal and detention systems. the use of expedited removal and detention with respect to asylum-seekers has increased sharply. in september, president obama will host a leaders summit at the united nations to discuss and identify steps that many nations around the world can
take to better address and improve the treatment of refugees globally. some's panel identifies steps the united states can take to improve its own treatment of those who are seeking refugee protection here in this country. byrne at the olga end of the table, will also outline some of the findings of .he human rights first report following those presentations, we are privileged today to hear reflections from representatives of the united nations refugee agency and the department of homeland security. this panel is an opportunity to discuss challenges affecting asylum-seekers in expedited removal and retention, reforms that could alleviate some of these challenges, the example united states sets for the rest of the world, and alternative approaches to receiving asylum-seekers and extending
them protection. we thank you all for joining us, and i also really thank our excellent lineup of panelists. to briefly introduce them, to my erect rite is mark hatfield, as,sident and ceo of hi director of a comprehensive study on asylum-seekers and expedited removal. to his right is elizabeth cassidy, codirector of policy and research at the u.s. commission on international religious freedom. beside her is tiffany lynch, senior policy analyst at ucirf. and then my colleague, olga associate for human rights first. oli,y left, mary giovagn deputy assistant secretary for policy at the department of homeland security. to her left, leslie velez,
senior protection officer at the united nations office of the high commissioner for refugees. thank you all. mark? mr. hetfield: thank you. the original study on asylum-seekers in expedited removal for the u.s. commission on international religious freedom. i oversaw a team of four experts as well as nearly 60 researchers . the research was done from 2003 to 2004 and released in 2005. i want to give a little background first. the 1996 concern that improperly documented non-citizens could enter the united states and then disappear while waiting for a hearing, congress enacted and president bill clinton signed legislation creating expedited removal, a procedure which allowed immigration officers to summarily remove non-reasons who arrived in the u.s. without opera travel documents --
without proper travel documents. that could mean false documents, no documents, or a visa that does not permit one to apply for asylum, which would be every visa. prior to that time, an individual could not be removed from the united states without a hearing before an immigration judge. from the major issue 20,000 false passports to sweets, the persecuted often rely on false documents to seek asylum. congress created screening procedures to prevent bona fide asylum-seekers from being mistreated or expeditiously removed to their persecutors. the expedited removal process, however, occurs behind closed doors without outside monitoring, lawyers, or judicial review. much of the process is deliver really swift and opaque --
deliberately swift and opaque. in order to verify asylum-seekers were being protected as intended, congress authorized the commission on religious freedom to gain access to conduct a study on the process to look at for questions. one, if immigration officers expedite -- i'm sorry, if authorizingofficers expedited removal authority with regard to noncitizens who may be eligible for asylum work -- were improperly encouraging them to withdraw their applications for admission, incorrectly failing an asylumhem for hearing, known as a credible fear determination, incorrectly removing the two countries where they may face persecution, and if they were being detained improperly or under inappropriate conditions. the departments of justice and homeland security cooperated with the commission. they reviewed more than 900 case files, survey 19 detention
facilities and all seven asylum offices. what did we find? the study report was over 500 pages. i will try to summarize it in less than five minutes. dhs procedures require that an immigration officer explain to the noncitizen that he should ask for protection without delay if he has any fear of being returned home. yet, we found that in more than 50% of the expedited removal interviews that we observed, this information was not conveyed to the applicant. the information procedures require that the noncitizen review this once they commit taken by the immigration officer, make necessary signctions, etc., and then the statement. we found that in 72% of the cases we observed, the noncitizen scientists sworn statement without being given any opportunity to review it. we found the sworn statements taken by the immigration officer were not verbatim, were not
verifiable, often attribute that information was conveyed to the noncitizen that was never in act conveyed, and sometimes contained questions which were never even asked. this was all in the file. these sworn statements look like verbatim transcripts, but they are not. we also found that in 32% of the cases where immigration judges and the subsequent asylum hearing found asylum applicants were not credible, the immigration judges specifically relied on these unreliable sworn statements. dhs rules also require that when a noncitizen expresses a fear of return, he must be referred to an asylum officer to determine if that fear is credible. yet, in nearly 15% of the cases we observed, noncitizens who expressed a fear of return were nonetheless removed without a referral to an asylum officer. dhs, it seemed, were training their officers and requirements to protect asylum seekers and refugees but then tailing to verify that the officers were
actually implementing these procedures. the review was strictly a paper file review. the actual officers were not observed, were not recorded. that was our job. we observed them. dhs was not observing them to make sure they were following the rules. while dhs had established national criteria to determine when asylum-seekers in expedited removal should be released, we found no evidence this criteria was being implemented at the time. fromund wide variations dhs office to office. we found new orleans released only 0.5% of asylum-seekers prior to their asylum hearing. new jersey released less than 4%. new york, 8%. san antonio released 94%. chicago 81 percent of asylum-seekers. the average noncitizen referred for a credible fear determination was released after 60 days, but 1/the world three
were held for 90 days or more. congress also asked that we ascertain if the asylum-seekers were detained under inappropriate conditions. based on our survey and visits to the largest of these facilities, we found that facilities where asylum-seekers in everyned resembled essential respect conventional jails. many facilities, in fact, were jails and prisons, and in some facilities, asylum-seekers slept alongside convicts serving criminal sit -- criminal sentences or criminal non-civilians. ice had experimented with alternatives to detention and lesspened one secure but prison-like facility in broward county, florida, but that was a very lonely exception. the overwhelming majority of asylum-seekers were detained for weeks, months, sometimes years in penal facilities or facilities based on a pedal
model. finally, concern was expressed that the dependent largely on if an asylum seeker was able to afford representation or find pro bono counsel. one in four asylum-seekers were granted asylum, where is only one of 40 who were not were successful. the outcome of the case also seemed to depend on pure luck, i.e. which judge he or she was assigned to. we found that among immigration judges sitting in the same city who appear a significant number of asylum cases, some granted of applications while others granted 80%. while asylum-seekers could appeal, one cannot rely on the to correct these disparities among immigration judges, because we found that the pii at that time was reversing immigration judges only 2% to 4% at the time. it's worth emphasizing that while we were conducting the study, dhs expanded expedited
removal authority to include not just immigration inspectors at ports of entry but also border in the tucson and laredo sectors along the southern border. the commission urged the department after the study not to expand expedited removal further until the serious flaws identified had been addressed and noted that all of the commission recommendations on expedited removal could be enacted without any legislation. among our specific recommendations, we'll that a high-level official be coordinated it to the process. to just start following its own procedures about releasing asylum-seekers on detention and not detaining them under jail-like conditions when they are detained and that a number of quality assurance procedures and provisions be made to ensure that dhs and doj procedures designed to protect asylum-seekers from wrongful
detention or removal were being followed, such as video recording the taking of also one statements taken by cdp. nonetheless, the george w. bush administration expanded authority across the southern border without addressing the major findings of the study. we were optimistic reforms would be enacted because -- after the extensive media coverage of the study 11 years ago and after of leadership. another recommendation that has not been followed is that dhs released more statistical information on an ongoing basis about who was being subject to expedited removal. instead, the obama administration has been releasing even less information than was available under the previous administration. we do know that in the last year reviewed by the study, 43,920 noncitizens were expeditiously removed from the united states. in 2013, 100 3032 has been
removed. there has been an expansion, and that's why the release of this follow-up study is just so important. thank you. ms. acer: thank you. elizabeth cassidy. thanks, eleanor. as mentioned, i'm from the u.s. commission on international religious freedom. my colleague tiffany and i are the staffers who continue to follow the issues from the study that mark just spoke about. i'm going to talk about the new report we've just released. more than a decade after the study that mark directed was released, this new report and new continuing concerns about the treatment of asylum-seekers in expedited removal and finds that most of the 2005 recommendations have not been implemented. our research was less extensive than that for the 2005 study, but it did involve firsthand observations of dhs processing and detention and also involved interviews with the taint asylum-seekers, meetings with
dhs officials, conversations with immigration attorneys and asylum service providers, and a review of public service information. in addition to meetings and research, we traveled to california, new york, new jersey, florida, order rico, and times and on texas three in 2014 and 2015, and we visited i've ports of entry, for border patrol stations, and i've asylum offices. we also visited 15 immigration facilities around the united states between 2012 and 2015. i'm going to talk about our key findings on the initial interviewing of noncitizens about the information available to noncitizens in expedited removal. tiffany will then speak about detention and release and the overarching issues of management and funding. mentioned, staff visited five
warts of entry and for border patrol stations touring facilities and meeting with .fficers we also were able to observe some interviews, although only a few. many fewer than what the original study looked at, and we saw both sides of the virtual processing that is now used for most border crossers in the rio grande valley sector of border patrol. this has been used since 2013 for first-time apprehensions who speak english or spanish, and it details the noncitizen sitting in front of a computer monitor speaking over a phone handset to a border patrol agent -- a station elsewhere, either el paso texas or el centro, california, to an internet-based communicator. despite the small number of interviews we were able to observe, we did see apples of
noncompliance including failure to read back the answers and allow the interviewee to correct them before he or she signs the form -- we did see examples of noncompliance. failure to read the mandatory script from the form that mark mentioned advises a noncitizen if they have any fear of return or need for protection to raise it now, and failure to record answers correctly. we also observed fear claims being examined by officials beyond those questions, and in a conversation with two interviewing border patrol agents, we saw a lack of knowledge of and noncompliance with dhs policies on the .ithdrawal of fear claim in terms of virtual processing, we saw it does improve processing efficiency, but it's lack of privacy, impersonal nature, and particularly the use of interviewing templates with
standardized questions and responses raise concerns. while using a standard list of questions could itself be a good practice, having prepared answers seemed to prompt the interviewer to ask leading questions in important areas rather than eliciting a response from the interviewee. our research also revealed problems with border patrol internal guidance on internal processing. that guidance is entitled credible fear determination. although it correctly states border patrol agents must ask the required for your questions and record responses, it conflates this questioning with the credible fear process and instruct border patrol agents and how to determine a credible fear. control of the border patrol agents but rather officers.l of ucirf it was also skepticism that some officers with whom we met expressed of asylum claims
either generally or from certain nationalities. additionally, the officers are overwhelmingly male and receive no training on dealing with vulnerable women and children. the first recommendation reiterates the recommendation from the 2005 study to video record all expedited removal interviews and require supervisor and headquarter review for quality assurance purposes. the second is to retrain all cdp officers and agents on their role in the expedited removal process, the proper procedures for interview noncitizens and the needs and concerns of vulnerable populations. the third is to establish a dedicated core of specially trained, non-uniformed interviewers to interview women and children to identify fear claims and ensure that female interviewers are included.
my second point on the information that noncitizens -- one overriding impression from our interviews of detained asylum-seekers is there insufficient understanding of what is happening to them in expedited removal and the fear, stress, and uncertainty that this causes. noncitizens in cpd custody to see little information about expedited removal and their rights within it. are notired forms written in layperson terms and sometimes are not provided in their own language. met with many detained asylum-seekers over the years who said that despite having been given forms, they did not understand what would happen to them when they left custody, and some still did not understand the process or their rights even after being in detention where they have access to a legal orientation program. after having their credible fear interviews where they are provided with certain information and in some cases, even after immigration court
appearances. in particular concern is that released a asylum-seekers lack any real understanding of their responsibilities and the next steps. was troubled ucirf by dhs a limitation in response to the search of central of programs refer to as the honduran and guatemalan pilot initiative. adults from countries who do not claim fear to border patrol remain in border patrol custody until shortly before ice removes them, meaning they do not have the opportunity to learn about their legal rights through the legal orientation programs that are available in most ice detention facilities. on these issues, we made the following key recommendation -- first, that cbp to develop a document that briefly and clearly explains the expedited removal process, consequences, the right to protection, and the right to request a private interview and provide it to all individuals in a language they understand as soon as possible when they come into cbp custody.
a second is that cbp and ice incher programs that detained nationals from separate countries -- any third is congress provide sufficient to expand allow them legal orientation programs to make it available to all facilities that house asylum-seekers. with that, i will turn it over to tiffany who will speak about some of the other issues in our report. ms. lynch: thank you. as mark mentioned, one of the looked things the study at was conditions under which asylum-seekers are housed. ice requires detention of asylum-seekers and tell an anicer determines they have credible fear of torture or persecution. in 2005, we found that asylum-seekers were being held under inappropriate conditions and that we recommended that they should not be held under they beditions and that
held under more regulated policies. we remain concerned that those conditions are used to hold asylum-seekers. visited2 22015, ucirf 12 different facilities in new jersey, california, lorna, arizona, and texas. again, we found that asylum-seekers continue to be detained under inappropriate penal conditions before their credible fear interviews. of the facilities toward, 100% had some sort of internal and external security barriers, restrictions of movement, some including escort requirements or headcounts. many facilities afforded little or no programming activities,
and detainees are required to spend the majority of their days in their housing units. 57% of facilities, asylum-seekers were prison-like jumpsuits, which corresponded with their risk levels. a particular concern is the use withntracts asylum-seekers. one of our concerns is that conditions can reach from us has asylum-seekers and could lead to premature withdrawals of asylum claims. these conditions not only contradict ucirf's 2005 recommendations but they also contradict ice's 2009 reform facilities, which are externally secure but allow for internal freedom of movement, broad-based, and indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities, contact visits,
privacy, and the ability to wear non-institutional clothing. study, theref the was one facility that stood out .gainst the others with the 2009 reforms, we of newd the expansion civil detention facilities, such as the current facility, but we are disappointed that there has a withdrawal or backtracking of the use of some of these facilities and we are seeing asylum-seekers once again held in more penal like institutions. we will continue to recommend that all adult asylum-seekers who must be detained in civil detention facilities only. we also visited a number of the .amily detention facilities we find that the u.s.
government's detention of whoers and children expressed a fear of return is inherently problematic and does not comply with the u.s. government standards for child detention. all of these facilities have some of the best practices of adult civil detention facilities including freedom of movement and the ability to wear street or non-institutional clothing, private housing, and private showers, but these are important conditions for adults, not for children, and there is a difference. we continue to recommend that families be detained only in facilities that meet the standards of the agreement and that they are individually .ssessed after an asylum seeker is found to have any -- a credible fear as is bound to
release them. we recommended policies be put into recommendation, and ucirf welcomed and ice directive on parole that allowed for the -- that a persons so who was not a flight or security risk could be released. we also called for the directive to be put into regulation. time, we have also looked at alternatives to detention. that was not something we look at in the 2005 study. we are happy to see that the use of alternative detention has increased and they are being .sed more prominently we are concerned about the extensive use of ankle bracelets. in particular, we are concerned
by what seems to be inconsistent use of release policies. part of this is inconsistent bond rates we have seen throughout our different detention facilities. ranging from 1000 to 7000 without any sort of consistent reason or mechanism given to us about how a bond rate was reached, that such bond rates could be prohibitively high, and memo by into the secretary johnson, prioritizing removal of immigrant detention populations, which called for priorityossers as a one level detention and enforcement priority. at the same time, within this new directive and this memo, secretary johnson clarified that those who qualify for asylum and other form of relief should not be an enforcement priority. we are concerned this memo is superseding the 2009 directive
and might be keeping asylum-seekers from being released when they should be released. want to talk i about is the overall management and some of the overarching report.e found in our we recommended the secretary appoint a high-ranking official to coordinate refugee and asylum matters among the various implementing partners. we have seen in our report that dide secretary chertoff appoint somebody, that position right now seems they can and the initial position did not have the authority nor resources we initially envisioned. , there was aings strong agreement that some sort of coordinating effort is a continued, it important position that should be appointed and should be held. that ainue to recommend
high-ranking official with sufficient authority and resources to make the reforms necessary to ensure protection of asylum-seekers into overseas limitation be appointed. wanted toissue we raise is discrepancy of funding amongst the various implementing agencies, including particularly of prioritization of funding agencies involved. one report we look at found that cbp's and ice's budgets increased from fiscal year 2002 2013, and by the in of 2013, this resulted adjudication of cases, whereas by the end of 2014, immigration courts had a 450,000 pending
were waiting over 600 days to be helped. we called for an increase of funding for the adjudicatory aspect of removal to address backlogs and >> good morning. i will speak briefly about the that we issued on detention of asylum-seekers. i will be speaking about issues , detention,dy release policies and practices. on this report started a year ago and was spurred like
conversations we were having with attorneys around the country who represent asylum-seekers. they were telling us that it has become increasingly challenging to get parole on behalf of the clients or the people they were supporting in detention. this was concerning to us for a number of reasons. is af which is that there clear policy directive issued by the obama administration in 2009 that lays out the criteria for parole. the directive states and that in general once an asylum seeker is determined to have credible fear , then that person should be released from detention so long as they can show their identity and that they are not a flight or security risk. so we sought more information on the issue. tostarted by talking attorneys in our own office who represent asylum-seekers. to ice.a request
we visited detention centers where a asylum-seekers are detaining california, new jersey, pennsylvania, texas. we conducted an in-depth the survey of 50 of attorneys around the country who work with asylum-seekers in detention and had detailed follow-up conversations with them about what they were observing and some of the case examples they were able to give. many of them are featured in our report here it i will talk about some of our key findings and the latest recommendations. first, we learned that there has and an increase in detention of asylum-seekers in recent years. the most recent data from fiscal that overshows of 44,000 asylum-seekers were detained in ice detention, where as in 2010, there were about
15,000 asylum-seekers detained, a threefold increase. you might note or be thinking that there has been an increase and asylum applicants in recent years, however this increase in detention, there has also been a percentage increase, so even though the number of applicants has detained, ice a larger percentage of the number. programs have decreased substantially. government data shows that while 80% of overall applications were granted in 2012, that number dropped to two 47% in 2015. survey of attorneys around the country as well as many kay's examples we collected and were featured in our report show that it was not restricted to a
small number of field offices. factorsveral might be at play about why this is happening, i would like to point out to key factors. the first is an old problem. parole criteria have always been in guidance over the years, and the case for decades. over the years, new guidance is issued. it seems to be followed for a couple of years, then problems arise again and again where an stops following or implementing it. we recommend, as we have in the has, and as ucirf recommended that these be put into application for more consistent application. problem, a new
asylum-seekers are being denied parole based on a misinterpretation of the 2014 priorities enforcement memorandum. this priorities enforcement memorandum was issued by secretary johnson in november thatat the same time president obama announced the expansion of deferred action. an example of a case where parole was denied individuals being an enforcement priority. a colombian family of four arrived at the atlanta airport in 2015 to seek asylum. they actually came on visitor toas, but it is not a visa seek asylum because that does not exist. so when they told officers at the airport that they would like to know the procedure for seeking asylum, they were
detained and separated, including a six-year-old girl who was separated for some time. girl were and the even truly released to pursue their cases in philadelphia. the husband and the grandfather were held in detention at irwin county detention center in georgia. their credible fear, and at that time they should have been eligible under the be released,o however they were held as an "enforcement priority." on enforcement priorities, i what theion briefly memo states and where the misinterpretation comes from. it states that individuals who have been apprehended at the border or ports of entry while attempting to illegally enter the united states are a level one priority.
there are exceptions later on for individuals who qualify for asylum, but this is sort of buried in the document, and it is not very clear. i will also reiterate what mark not aned, that it is legal to seek asylum, and international law recognizes that asylum-seekers can't typically obtain travel documents because they don't exist and they should not be penalized for their manner of entry. men weres case the two actually not released until after six months in detention and after considerable advocacy, human rights first got involved in the case and the attorney was adjudicating on that as well. talk aboutn't release from detention unless we talk about bond.
i first want to say that payment of bond is actually meant to serving a release by security or assurance that the person will show up for court proceedings. orever, since neither ice the executive office for immigration review which runs neithergration courts considers the individual's ability to pay when setting the bond in practice to keep people detained. it might make them born or ball to exploitation by bill bondsman -- bail bondsman companies that take advantage of the situation. i will give you one example of a prohibitively high bond case. a family of seven refugees arrived at the southern border at a port of entry and requested
asylum. they were detained at a andntion center in arizona, only two of the seven could afford to get private counsel, and those two at some point did secure release. the other five were denied parole, and actually they were denied based on the allegedly enforcement priorities. people in this category of arriving asylum-seekers have access to a bond hearing after being detained for six months pursuant to a case called rodriguez. so after six months, the other , buthad bond hearings their bonds were set between $40,000 and $45,000 each. that added up to over $200,000 to get out of detention. of those 5, 2 of them could no
ofger sustain the trauma prolonged detention and withdrew their cases. the other three were granted asylum outright and were finally released, but only after 10 months in detention. our report, we point out that the department of justice, which oversees the immigration courts, would agree with us that this practice is unfair. has actually been involved in litigation and other efforts to improve fairness in the criminal justice system with amountsto setting bail and has stated that a system which does not consider ability to pay or effectively detains people because of their economic status is a violation of the protection. as wellcommend that uir
as ice, which sets bond in some cases, consider a way to set up an ability to pay. i will wrap up by saying our report also covers several other issues such as the consequences of detention to the health of our asylum-seekers and their taxpayers,he cost to the expansion of alternative retention programs, which has positive and negative aspects as were alluded to. and finally, to the impediments to counsel that detention causes in many cases. with that, i will wrap it up. >> thank you very much. presentersll of the for an excellent summary of the findings and recommendations of the various reports related to the treatment of asylum seekers. i want to turn the discussion over now for some reflections
unhcr as well as the department of homeland security. i think we will start with leslie at unhcr. >> thank you. can you hear me? >> try this. >> there we go. thanks. thank you for inviting the u.n. refugee agency to be a part of this panel. thatrst comment is to say i congratulate everyone here for comprehensive research, not just for round one, but we have round two. agency's role,e we have a duty to persons of concern, including refugees, to ensure that they have access to basic services, food, shelter,
water, and protecting their rights, including the basic right of being able to seek asylum and have that claim adjudicated. with that, our main role is to support governments around the world as they live up to their commitments and their obligations under the convention and protocol. i think we heard a lot of detailed challenges that point to some of the systemic across-the-board challenges, but what i am going to try to do is zoom out into the bigger picture , contextualize this globally, and then offer some bigger picture solutions in terms of how unhcr deals with especially situations of an flux around the world. i will break this down in a few ways. first, it is really important that we recognize the leadership role of the united states,
because the united states not only is a leader, but also must lead by example, because for better or for worse, the entire world is watching what the united states does. contextualize this and talk about the current challenges at hand, because it is one thing to have a certain framework in place, but it is difficult to implement that framework, especially in times of influx, especially when there are i lot of refugees trying to access the system. then i will move into bigger picture reflections. so, since the world is watching, leadership also has to start at home. what do i mean by the united states serves as a global leader for refugee protection efforts? here is a good example, everyone is aware of the situation in syria. since 2012, the u.s. government has supported turkey to become a country of first asylum by $380 million of
funding to host 2.5 million syrian refugees since 2012. so it is incredible recognition unhcr, notship to just for us to be able to do our work in support of turkey, but bilateral agreements between united states and turkey as a sign of support to allow turkey to be a country of asylum. there are other examples. we see this now. just this year, the u.s. government is supporting offering assistance to refugees and south sudan arriving now to 86ghboring countries, over million dollars for humanitarian assistance that includes health care, shelter, nutritional services, psychological and clinical treatments. that said, the test of leadership really does start at home, and it is very important
that the u.s. live out the leadership role domestically as a country of asylum. our role is to help the united states as we help all other governments to map an appropriate humanitarian response and the time of growing refugees and migrants arriving at the borders. we have some positive aspects built into u.s. law. victimsple, we have the protection reauthorization act that assumes any unaccompanied child must be protected unless the government can prove otherwise. so it offers a protective mechanism right off the bat, and that is the legal framework passed by congress, and that is extremely positive when we are looking and comparing to other governments. , it ispedited removal very interesting because all governments by signing on to the
convention and the protocol has to not return an individual to a place where they fear for their lives and freedom. easier said than done, specially when people move in migratory flows that are mixed. some are refugees, some might be and how cangrant migrants, you tell who is who. there are four questions that are triggered, in other words the united states government is supposed to affirmatively ask individual whether they fear returned to their home country. this is incredibly positive and a good sign that the u.s. government is taking its responsibility and duty very seriously. there is also the parole guidance we just heard about. there is new risk classification assessment process that took years to develop, which is an
individualized review for each in-depthfore they and detention, so it exists now. one of the largest problems with this is that categorically the laws are set up to mandatorily number of people, including arriving asylum-seekers. and there are alternatives to detention. there is a lot of progress in history and time, as early as 2008-2010, so what has happened? we have seen a challenge with it isrrent influx, and challenging a governments response, and this is common everywhere in the world. when there is a test to the system, it is a test of the system. let me contextualize this again. point 3ix to five million people globally have
been forcibly displaced by the end of 2015. number increase in the of asylum-seekers, it is becoming challenging to respond. most refugees are being hosted in developing countries. 6.53 million people globally have been forcibly displaced by the end of 2015. in 2014, there were approximately 45,000 credible fear interviews, and now we know what that is from the previous presenters. the credible fear a significantnd 80%.r, 43,000, 34,000 were found to
have a credible fear. 2016,6, through april of that is halfway through the fiscal year, 41,821 credible , 36 thousanded people have been found to have a credible fear, so the approval rate is up nearly to 86.9%, so 87%. these numbers are the same as last year, and we are only halfway through the fiscal year, so the number of arrivals, the u.s. is still on track to receive 90,000 fear claims before the end of september 30. this is what is challenging the system. ok, so let me quickly move into some solutions. down ref or g protection into a simple -- refugee, there
simpleion into a methodology, anyone who is an asylum seeker who has yet to be recognized needs to be registered. we need information. how many people in the family, how many individuals, what are their needs, how many have health issues, how many have disabilities, immediately what are their needs to inform how these people will be sheltered, food, public health, and how will they survive once they are sheltered, informed livelihoods, is it going to be food distribution from assistance or are there going to be opportunities for them to become self-sufficient as quickly as is a win-win for the refugee and the resources needed. the most important piece of this is that all of their claims must be adjudicated. for aery timely fashion number of different reasons, but once the claims are adjudicated,
then you know you have a refugee who meets the definition, and if so, what are the solutions? local integration? voluntary repatriation? some are able to have access to the resettlement process. if they are not found to be a refugee, then what? had you respect the human rights of individuals if they do not have a fear of persecution? , how dois the formula you apply that kind of logic to the complicated legal system in the united states? are a few pieces working in the u.s. favor. the current numbers are manageable. 130,000alking about arrivals per year. this year will be hard and that, at aroundas the peak 140 thousand if you add the unaccompanied children. syria,ompare that to
again, i spoke about 2.5 million refugees that are hosted in turkey, this is manageable. it is possible to get ahead of this. it feels like a large influx, and it certainly is, but it is manageable. and we also have a global legal framework. we have the refugee convention, the protocol, and the executive committee of unhcr that publishes conclusions, and governments have helped to develop this global framework to develop the refugee situation. , and we101 conclusions read them all the time. i isolated eight that are very specific to the topics discussed here. speak to how to receive and shelter refugees. this has been negotiated, talked about, the legal framework is
there. to do the challenge is that when it is hard to do that. , here are the five reflections. ok, so non-rejection at the border. here is the rub. allowing someone in to your a breach of international law. sending someone who might be a refugee is. right? it can be true, and it is true, that not all of asylum-seekers will meet the definition of refugee, sending them all back will invariably result in sending back bona fide refugees. they cannot do this. so it really highlights the importance of not sending them back when they truly fear
returning to their country of origin. we often forget that it is a very colorful enforcement tool. it is also a discretionary tool, when we are talking about the application of expedited removal between ports of entry. i'm going to suggest that perhaps it is not so necessary. if we thought upwards of 80% of the arrivals from particular countries that are going through the credible fear process, and once you get a credible fear, it is congratulations. go intonow allowed to deportation proceedings in front of an immigration judge. coupleu look at the last of years, the united states government has invested upwards of $10 million into initial screenings. it has yielded results and an excellent diagnoses that upwards of 80% of people coming from different countries are passing this initial screening, but it
is not just the money. asylum officers who adjudicate asylum claims to the normal process have been diverted and attention prioritized to screenings at the border. have an incredible backlog, and timely adjudication is critical here. crux very critical and the of the integrity of the refugee protection system. timely adjudications means it is a huge fraud prevention measure. many screenings and we know we have to do it quickly. it prevents fraud, maintains the integrity of the system that bona fide refugees have access and proceed accordingly. those who don't, can proceed in a different way. it lessens the vulnerabilities of the immigration enforcement system. if 85% of the people are going to deportation proceedings
anyway, information learned from that should inform how this type of discretion is used and applied. when discretion, to use expedited removal, when you use it, it mandates the tension, so it is to say that even mandatory is discretionary inion of tor these instances. when using the discretion, it is important to recalibrate the risk tolerance and tilt that more towards protection. trust that the immigration judges and the enforcement system, assuming it is properly fund and, will identify individuals who don't meet the refugee definition and then the enforcement mechanism can do its job. it is tipping the scale back that way and is incredibly important. i promise i will take only 30 more seconds.
take picture reflection is that the united states government is not registering asylum-seekers. there is no registration process. registration is very important. seek asylumend to in united states are currently in the united states. i am here to take you that no one can answer that question right now. and we are getting statistical information from a lot of different bodies. how many people have claimed fear? of fear, how many have applied for asylum? how many of from it asylum applications are there? without registration, there is no conference of view of the scale of the situation. once there is registration, making sure that each one of these individuals has information. we call it counseling in the way we do our work. maybe we can call it legal counseling? refugees also have rights and responsibilities in the process.
without having proper information, how will they know which -- how to do that? my final point is that when we talk about shelter for refugees. everyone understands that concept internationally. everyone has seen images of refugee camps. there are no refugee camps in the united states, and that is a good thing, but there is so much reliance on detention, and shelter does not need to equate to detention. again,ention is used, there are guidelines. be arbitrary.can it it has to be authorized by law. the big message out of this one is the use of detention for the purposes of deterrence is not a legitimate use of restricting someone's liberty.
,eing able to get that right and the final thought that is who is coordinating all this in a post we did hear about expedited removal. now we have homeland security. immigration judges are under the department of justice. when it first came out, i can recall the commissioner was in high-level government and would go on the expedited rollout todshow to ports of entry explain what it is, to talk the need to ensure proper screenings. in a post-ins world, we don't see the high-level coordination. high-levelrecommend coordination at dhs. we push it higher to say
high-level coordination from the top -- the refugee protection system is splintered and de-prioritized in the context in which it currently lives. being able to draw focused attention would be helpful. >> thank you very much. our final reflection is from mary juvenile lee, deputy assistant secretary for immigration policy at the department of homeland security. >> which sounds like a title in which one should be coordinating all of these things. we tried. everybody, for a lot of very thought-provoking and serious issues that need to be discussed. obviousit's probably i'm not going to be able to to some of the specific
issues. they merit a further review from all of our dhs components. we need to give the full weight of a response that is required. there is no doubt there are a lot of issues we can talk about. i also have some limitations with respect to litigation. bear with me if i sound of a sieve. to be able to engage in a constructive conversation here. you i want to do is to give a bit of an overview, and like leslie, i'm going to zoom out to some of the bigger fundamental principles and issues that exist and some of the trends that i saw in reviewing and reading the documents. especially with the u.s. surf document.
we were fortunate to see a preview to be able to have prepublication dialogue. it gave me some additional time to reflect on fundamentally what we are seeing. most of this is kind of big picture, but i have a few nuggets that i hope will be useful. i always start, and i think it's critical, particularly in this from thege, to start premise that people of goodwill are involved on all sides of the matter, and i am quite grateful to u.s. surf and to unhcr for taking that approach in the constructive criticism that i think they are affording dhs. that whenn the case people drill down, they will say, that's one incident, or that's a limited circumstance, and i am mindful of the fact that we have any number of dhs who in all parts of
are trying their best to follow the law, who are compassionate, who are trying to meet the very complicated obligations of a very complicated and often confusing law. i think it's absolutely important to have that baseline that people are trying to do the right thing often in the face of a difficult situation. that leads me to my hamilton point, which is, at some in the hamilton production, angelica, the love interest of hamilton, is faced with three fundamental truths at once. if you know the musical, you know that song. if you don't, you now have reason to look it up. you can be aware of three things at once that are both real and true and in concert with each other at the same time. here are my fundamental truths based on the conversations we
have been having thus far. after 20 years, expedited removal, credible fear, the detention of asylum-seekers remain as controversial as they were when the 1996 law was enacted. they also remain part of a much bigger conversation and dialogue about the ongoing effects of that law 20 years later. number two, at each stage of the process, fundamental and life-changing decisions are made . by necessity, they are made in a matter of minutes. if we are lucky, a matter of hours. they are made increasingly difficult by, as leslie said, in next flow of people. -- a mixed flow of people. decisions haven't necessarily been re-examined sufficiently in the course of doing our daily business. fundamental truth number three, which continues to switch as i
down,rying to write it essentially, it is bifurcated. once a tool has been put into place in any part of the government bureaucracy, people are loath to give up that tool, especially if they don't know what is on the other side. expedited removal is a tool that people in the law-enforcement section of dhs see as critical to their mission. i think there are a lot of important challenges and conversations we need to have about how expedited removal is applied, but i think it is a fundamental truth. once a tool exists, it becomes difficult to let it go. here's the second part of that. because the system itself is designed to address needs butlized has to address it in the context
of 40, 50, 60,000 credible fear , it is necessarily going to be intention -- in tension with itself. the decisions are going to be andect to second-guessing requests for an interview or challenges to that fundamental judgment that was made. when it all comes down to comment if you had to put it into one word, i would say so much of what we are talking about in the context of expedited removal writ large is this notion of judgment. judgment is probably the fundamental tool that we have as public servants, that we have within dhs, and proper use of that judgment, the use of discretion, the use of determining what is the appropriate process, the use of
determining whether you need to answer more questions. maybe your gut tells you something is going on, but you don't know. all of those things are questions of judgment. to the degree that the system itself might be imperfect, the judgments people make are always going to be under such an incredible amount of scrutiny that it he comes difficult to sort out what is the human side of this and what is the process side of this. mind, i want to address some of the things people were talking about. i'm going to start with the easier part. something that i want to reiterate, we are making efforts to make sure people know and understand. memo says that people who have a credible fear, there should be a general presumption you're going to be --e to release those folks
that is still in effect. directive from the secretary about priority enforcement was never meant to trump that. effect, just as the victims memo that john morton issued. these are things that go fundamentally to the idea of discretion and good judgment. if you read carefully the whole scope of the secretary's analysis in the 2014 directive. you will see that good judgment is the legacy he wants to leave ,ehind in terms of immigration so those memos have to be read in concert with, not in contradiction with, the 2014 assessment. in addition to that, even as the months are ticking away on the
obama administration's time, our leadership is continuing to look at the tension issues. they are continuing to look at the issues that were raised in the human rights first were support -- first report. there is a very serious commitment to trying to continue to get it right. remember iemoval -- said, after 20 years, it remains a contentious issue, but it remains a contentious issue in the context of a 1996 law that fundamentally switched many of our immigration systems from a model where there was a lot of discussion to one that is more punitive. it has had far more unintended consequences than anyone imagined. i've got a lot to respond to.
we always have to put that in that context. expedited removal and that set of tools are also in the context of a whole other set of things in terms of the relief that is available to people now in an immigration proceeding. the risk people take if they stay in the country and leave and try to come back in, they may never get back in. the complexity of the immigration process has grown so decisionlly that every is in some ways life-changing at a minimum, if not life-threatening. when that is the case, this notion of judgment and how we are training our officers, those are legitimate questions and challenges to raise. as a department, and it will be something we look at as we look
recommendations, is to say, what more do we need to do to provide that support to our officers to support -- provide the full context? i will tell you that the issues that have been raised across the board about coordination ring very true. administration, i grew up in the inf. before number of things i left the administration and worked in the nonprofit world. i came back for the last two years here as a political appointee. one of the things i found was that dhs was a different place. it had grown on enormously. what there had been in ins for all of its problems was a sense of interconnectivity. there was a place where the buck
lawyers and the policy people all had to come together at one table to address whatever the issues were that the commissioner was raising. it is true that in the transition we lost that. i think expedited removal and the issues that have continued , our ability to handle the complex problems, it's been made the worse for that. frankly, i think it took dhs a long time to figure out what a complicated set of issues it had gotten itself into when it inherited all the immigration issues, and we went from one agency to three major agencies, plus a lot of other agencies that have a stake in the immigration world. those are complicated issues. i support the idea that we need more coordination.
we are working on it internally to try to move that along. it takes a long time to turn any ship. it's going to take continue discussion to figure out what the right way is to coordinate so many critical crosscutting issues across a huge agency with so many missions. i think it's important to remember, these issues, vitally important issues, and the deputy secretary and the leadership care about these things, but nonetheless, they are competing with the huge range of other issues. ensure to find a way to balancing out the complicated needs and issues that occur at the border every day. we do our best. we keep trying, but lots more needs to be done.
that's a message that isn't just a message that dhs or doj has to embrace, and i will say, one , in theat surprised me u.s. surf recommendations, congress did get more of a set of recommendations about what they could do. congress needs to keep funding you all and needs to ensure we have accountability and ways to assess this, but a bigss needs to take reality check and say, after 20 years, after criticisms and concerns that fundamentally haven't changed, even though there's been an enormous amount , maybert to change them it is time for us to say, this process may be doesn't work anymore, if it ever worked.
if it doesn't work, does it not work for particular populations? is it that it doesn't work because of what happened in 1996 and what we attended to implement was based on a port of entry, where you have far more issues where you can control the flow, the understanding, the types of cases that may come through, and the minute you open it up to issues along the border, it becomes a much bigger and complicated process. said, i'm not making any statement about whether we should get rid of expedited removal. we need to examine very carefully what the right tools are for the world we live in today. my question is what are the tools that were proposed in 1996 are the appropriate tools today. that's particularly in the context of the evolution and
very much in the last year -- in the evolution of the u.s. government's approach to the central american and northern triangle issues, we have just announced we are going to be starting in-country refugee processing. we been working with partners throughout the region to try to address more comprehensively what is going on down there. there becomes a question of, ?hat are the right tools it's a challenge across the board. kinds of refugees, the kinds of protection needs that arise in now, are not the needs of 20 years ago. the context of that ever-changing, ever-fluid momentum, we have a set of immigration laws that are fundamentally stuck 40 or 50 years in the past. i always come back to this. i'm a broken record.
i am a one hundred percent believer in the obama administration's support for comprehensive immigration reform . if we take it seriously, what it does is it creates a baseline that allows us to have a smarter, more efficient, better regulated furlough -- flow of legal immigration. if we create a system that works, then we will reduce a lot of the issues that we have at the border, which will give us more of the opportunities that we need to be able to address with greater care, greater clarity, more systematically the issues that do come up. we've got a lot of work to do. we've got great people within the department who want to do that work. we continue to need all of you, and we continue to need to have a dialogue that is real and transparent that does start with the idea you can hold a lot of
fundamental truths in your head at the same time, and they can all be real. we can make it better if we work together. thank you. >> thank you very much, mary and leslie. we are going to open up the conversation now for questions from our audience, and my excellent colleague andrew is going to have a microphone in his hand. we are going to try to take rounds. we will take a couple of questions first and then open it up to the panel. i see some hands up, andrew. morning, and thank you for the presentation. i am a student. i have a quiz -- quick question. i assume you have heard that kenya has chosen to close the refugee camp.
is that one of the destination countries you intend to settle them? reform, i knowt many people will be looking at coming this way, leaving developing countries. >> let's take a few more, and we will have the panel address them as a group. >> thank you very much for the presentation. it's been very enriching. we want to find out if the i don'tpresentations know if you can give us a copy of your presentation.
happens to asylum-seekers to obtain asylum status? thank you so much. >> i have the great privilege of being one of the experts on the earlier study with mark, and i just want to acknowledge the current report and incredible and mark, whose tenacity and dedication made that study happen. i think it's important to remember that the immigration reform occurred under a democratic president, so maybe
the second president clinton will have a chance to fix our profound problems. a few truthsto add to those that the assistant secretary stated and hear the panel's comments. truth number one is, dialogue is important. from the study, there were a lot of discussions, and i can tell you under the obama administration, there has been a dialogue between ice officials and the ngo community. we don't agree a lot, but at least we keep talking. facts matter, and data matters. mark did a human's job of creating a system for documenting what is happening. unfortunately, that system was dismantled, let alone not
sustained. that is really sad. i led that part of the study where we were monitoring what went on in the interview rooms. even with us in the rooms, the information was not provided. god only knows what is happening on the border outside of an .irport the third truth, it immigration detention is dangerous. it is well documented from the research that my colleagues have done. it's bad for health. a human rights report that showed a lot of the deaths in immigration detention could have been prevented. the sad final truth, i would like to hope that, well, we can now reassess. ago, buta long time
1996 was the result of xenophobia, and that xenophobia still continues. i hope we can fix that. the last truth, which actually i i have- although enormous admiration for the president and secretary johnson -- the last truth is, the central american crisis is a refugee crisis, and we have this crisis with a law enforcement and criminalization approach. theill go down as one of utter disgraces of the obama administration, and i hope they look to fix that. having sat in the room with so many of these women and children fleeing, they are not here for a green card. they are here because they had no choice, and those changes
-- there made cametary's directive because the president wanted to look tough on the border so we could have the dream act. in so doing, he threw a population of women and children under a bus. i hope we address that. i hope the president does and the next administration does. >> do we have additional? -- additional questions before we turn this to the panelists. i'm going to turn allen's point into a question to make it easier for our panelists to address. in terms of copies of the presentations, if you've given e-mail and registration outside the. we will send a link -- outside,
we will send a link. feel free to give me an e-mail. i am happy to share. questionecap, the last with some of the messaging used by the secretary and the soinistration that was law-enforcement-focused, deterrence-focused, did that send the wrong message in terms of how u.s. officials on the front line should be treating asylum-seekers at our border, and what steps in addition to -- i think resettlement was touched on -- what additional steps can be made to write the course and to send this clear message that the u.s. should be abiding by its refugee protection commitments, including many that have long existed and policy. ere was also a question on kenya and resettlement of somalis. we had a question on rejected asylum-seekers and what happens to them, how to maintain
monitoring and data, as well as the health impact of detention on asylum-seekers. we will start down at the end. i think you might want to comment on the health impact question, and maybe a few others want to chime in. >> thanks, everyone, for those questions. i will respond on the health impact. thank you, alan, for raising that point. human rights first has been focusing on the health impact with respect to family detention in particular, which we haven't talked about so much. tiffany mentioned it briefly. in that context, it's more than clear that very short-term detention of a couple of weeks or so is harmful to children and their parents and the whole family to the extent that losing your liberty impacts the family relationship, the parents'
ability to parent. we have worked with medical researchers who have found that there are long-term negative developmental consequences to children. to that end, we have pushed for an end to detaining children once and for all. i think the american academy of pediatrics has weighed in, as well as other national organizations, in addition to the widely respected and why you program for survivors of torture nyu program for survivors of torture. sure. i have a couple of comments that i suppose tie-in to mary's statement as well as allen's statement. i think it is important to emphasize that to me, i was
surprised at the outcome for many reasons. we found that expedited removal , that itation was fine was possible to protect refugees and asylum-seekers within the language written by congress and signed by president clinton. the problem was in the implementation and that dhs could have rectified all of the thatems we identified related to that agency. that is why we took an optimistic tone of our report. this was our report released 11 years ago with a statue of liberty. 11 years later, barbed wire. after 11 years of waiting, the optimism has died down a little bit. the second point i wanted to make relates to that first point, which is, some of our findings did relate to what mary referred to as judgment.
me as ally upsets lawyer and as someone who has worked in the refugee field for over 25 years, the commission identified inherent, systemic flaws that created problems, that we document this 72% of the time. noncitizentime the was not allowed to review his statement and correct it, but forced to sign it. half the time, information that the file reported was conveyed to the applicant was not conveyed to the applicant. why does this happen? it happens because dhs only does a paper review. they do not record the proceedings. nobody is watching. and the immigration officers got into such bad habits, that without sitting in the room, they did not follow their own time.ures 72 of the
you have to monitor them, actually make sure they are following procedures. you have to video record the procedures, which is done in most countries during asylum procedures. expanded expedited removal without taking into account any recommendations, and they did not dispute our findings, they just did not address or improve them. and that is what upsets me 11 years after. one other comment i want to make, and it is kind of a small comment, but it is really haunting me the last 12 years, and that is that we did visit about a dozen detention facilities. and what tiffany referred to as a lack of privacy was a definite understatement. what we saw, and maybe this has improved, i would like to know
what you meant by lack of privacy, doesn't mean you can't go into a room and read a book. what it means is that in many facilities you live in what is called a pod with a couple of other dozen asylum-seekers. in that pod, you eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, take a shower all out in the open at the same time. guards watching you. you can eat over year, other people going to the bathroom 50 feet away. that is the lack of privacy we're talking about. it is not that, oh, i cannot go into a room and get some me time. it is important to emphasize that. that was a real eye-opener for me. one facility even had cameras on the toilets. in addition to them being open, there was a control room where punpenal officers could, no
intended, watch the people go to the bathroom. and for some reason, while there could not be male officers watching women go to the bathroom, women officers were allowed to watch men go to the bathroom. these are the types of evaluations -- types of humiliations that we saw. i have not been in a while, but continues to haunt me that this is the way the u.s. treats asylum-seekers. >> yet, i just want to comment on a couple of things and then i can let tiffany talk more about the tension. essentially, they are not that different. on alan's point, i completely agree. as we found in the research, it can be hard to find the data. i am sure you have experience, among other things with dhs having separate components and agencies -- different agencies
keeping data in different ways, you know, that is the thing we struggled with in the research, despite the cooperation we got seconds in doing this update. wether thing echoing mark, were surprised, it did not go in the interview, but they get in the first study you had a team of, what did you say? 60 researchers? we had the two of us. it was a different endeavor, but we did sit in on interviews and watch video processing interviews, and i was surprised for still doing things wrong in front of us, as we were watching, knowing we were writing a report that was going to be public about this. the procedures are very clear, as mark said. they are supposed to be better followed. and finally, i just want to echo
allen on the central american crisis. we of the commission, we focus on other work with religious persecution overseas, other parts of the world, but we have now set with a number of -- in all of our research trips we spoke to detainees, including mothers and children, and the stories are horrific. that is the fact of the matter. 80% of the people are passing the interviews, borne out by the fact that the obama administration showing the expansion of the child program. so, with regard to detention, yes, a lot of those remain. the lack of privacy, as you have fully describe. whereen dorm room pods, you are sleeping with bunk beds, you can have your meal, sometimes you can go out to a
cafeteria, but you watch tv, daily stuff there. you know, showers, no privacy, no curtains on the showers, no doors on toilets. progress, mention there have been a few new facilities that move toward more privacy, which we welcome. you know, smaller rooms that would house 2-8 people, and there would be a restroom with a shower in the toilet was private. so, you had some kind of privacy there. interestingly, one of the facilities to have these private bedrooms still had an open restroom, shower area. you could see the discomfort in the facility. i was torn. i wanted to see what the privacy was like in the shower room, wide open, someone showering, i've backed out of a delay. i do not feel that person's privacy should be invaded. i quickly noted after the
conditions of the shower, but it is unfortunate that some of these facilities that we are moving towards are more civil detention facilities, partly because they had to rearrange the housing of the children there, but they backed away from that. 2, being put back in the facilities with the lack of privacy. full video monitoring facility, escorts being required moving through parts of the facility. you are checking to see if you are bringing anything from the cafeteria into your pod area. day,hes anytime of the making sure you are where you need to be. these are the types of conditions you think of when people are in jail, and people are overseeing you. that is what we see in a lot of these facilities. >> thank you, all. before we pass the microphone to my colleagues here to the left,
i just wanted to say from our perspective on human rights, first having worked with asylum-seekers on expedited removal for many years, we have concluded that the expedited removal process itself is inherently flawed due to the lack of safeguards, and these types of problems are to some extent inevitable, because it is a system that does not have basic safeguards like immigration court hearings. slightly different take. >> and i will add to that, just to say, ok, expedited removal was used. but the process has proved useful to inform who is in this flow. we now know that upwards of 80% of individuals who claimed are actually found to have it. so, it just begs the bigger question here, certain circumstances, why use it? so, you know, that is something
that can be changed immediately. and it is not about let everyone in, you know, un-curtailed. it is about putting them into deportation proceedings. and as some of the lessons learned in the past is that that might happen, but people need information. they need legal counsel. they need to know what they are supposed to do, where to show up, how do you change venue from the court hearing and then going to seattle, washington because that is where my family is? which is actually something very positive, that when it comes to detention, and remember just because someone is in deportation 240 proceedings, you do not need expedited removal in order to detain someone. which is to say that it needn't be mandatory, so that people go in, but going through an individualized assessment, and the u.s. government now has
a tool to be up to do that, looking at security concerns and evaluating documentation, is this person who they say they are? but to move them out of the system as quickly as possible. and with every crisis, there is opportunity. and so, there is this very large 2-3 family detention facility. and now, there is the largest case management based alternative being run the government, the largest in the world. every crisis, there needs to be opportunity. and opportunity seized. and that is one of them. because in the end of the day, it should not be hard for a country that is committed to honoring and reviewing asylum-seekers and offering surrogate protection today needed, it should not be hard to access the territory, the asylum system, to be put in detention is a cause for
concern. i mean, in our office, we are receiving a number of calls which are very concerning about people who have already passed screenings, in the asylum process, have not been released and are choosing to abandon claims simply because the context in which they are being detained. we are screening the u.s. government, legitimate, bona fide refugee, who simply cannot stay in these types of conditions. and are leaving and try to figure out other ways of surviving. and that is not a good state of affairs. and given that we have the opportunity to use discretion, and the current legal framework to make better informed decisions, i have to say that is the first step. and on the question, does to quickly address that, so, with the closure, we have a cue already of about 14,000 individuals. and we are looking towards
repatriation, voluntary repatriation, as many who can go home and those who feel they cannot. trying to fix that with repatriation packages, what kind of support do they need to go home, and is always in any context around the world, the slots for resettlement. 12 million refugees, 100,000 slots per year, based on acute risk, done by risk analysis. it is the solution that is necessary. but hopefully, you know, we have received assurances from the government that human rights will be respected. and it is our job to support the government, keep a close eye on that and ensure that individuals are able to access safety and their rights. >> if you need a reminder, have a look at some of the questions. >> i wrote them down. also the beginning,
law enforcement deterrent message, what kind of signal or repercussions, things that can be done to counter to give a message that is more of a refugee protection effort, as well? that, again, i want to echo my gratitude for the very important points that people are raising, and the very sort of uncomfortable place that you have put me, in terms of acknowledging the incredible and constant, i think, we need to remember the dignity of each person dhs cares for, puts in custody, adjudicates the case, has to be foremost the thought of everything we do in our thousands and thousands of officers who work in this area.
and, you know, we have to have the reminder time and again, because it is very easy, particularly with the cases, to sort of isolate one's actions and not think about the sort of picture as a whole. so, i am going to go back to what my earlier points, because i think that some of this is precisely because we do not have a structure in dhs. we need to improve the structure for managing immigration across the board, because we don't, and i think that is the secretary's efforts and approach on the model of immigration and other issues, they really do not reflect the idea that we have to actually think about every step of the process together. removal,ding expedited what does that do to the asylum program? the is that duo to individuals involved?
bottom line. and i think that as a matter of the historical record, we just have not done that well enough. and we, i think, are trying to move towards that. i do think that the next administration, that is clearly one of the biggest and most important challenges in the immigration field that they have to deal with, is sort of 2.0 on how we manage our immigration system, overall? now, sort of extremely tough questions, and some things i don't have answers to. i think that when we raise these issues to people, and many do raise issues about detention, there are extensive working groups, internal reviews, there are civil rights and civil liberties organizations within dhs spending enormous amount of
time regarding the conditions of detention seekers -- conditions of detention, things like that. and you know, frequently, there are answers. they are not answers everyone agrees with, but there are answers as to why things are done the way they are done. so i think fundamentally, you know, there are certain things. it goes back to the idea that when people have tools, they would use them. we have to keep pushing, pushing to make those tools as safe and as respectful as possible. i will say that there are efforts in place to continue to examine conditions of detention, to continue to build on and improve those things that are -- many of the things that were raised today. but i think the other thing that is really important, and i'm glad to see that mark and alan differ on expedited removal as a
statutory premise, because i can be in the middle of it all, i think that fundamentally, the matter how hard we try, we're going to keep coming back to these issues, until we face up to the fact that our immigration system itself, the entire thing, really needs a reboot. and the issues that people are pushing and depressing and challenging on, i think it is absolutely right. one of the reasons it is so difficult in the immigration context is the xenophobia and the fear often when people pass laws, and want to try to address that, they target immigrants. they target the immigration system. it am i think, makes it incredibly difficult at times to do all the things we put down on paper. does not mean that is right. but people have used litigation skills at this table, and throughout the room and elsewhere, ably to keep pushing
us. and that is what it requires. keep pushing us to keep not to shames, and any administration, but i think congress focusing really on the things that matter in this context, of the protection system that does what it is supposed to do. >> thank you very much, mary. i think we have five more minutes left, and will need to wind down shortly. i wanted to see if there were one or two more final questions, and is not, we would just wrap up quickly. perfect/ . i think the panelists will be here for a few moments if they do have an additional final questions. i want to thank our host, that law firm and many others have been tremendous pro bono work for asylum-seekers held in immigration detention and otherwise, and we greatly appreciate that contribution, access to counsel.