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White House seeks indefinite detention for migrant families

North Carolina residents who have been following the ongoing legal battles over some of the Trump administration’s more controversial immigration policies will likely not be surprised to learn that another court case is brewing. A proposed rule change published in the Federal Register on Aug. 23 would allow immigrant families to be detained indefinitely while their applications for asylum are being processed. They are currently detained for no more than 20 days.

The president’s political opponents say the proposed rule change and several of the administration’s other recent immigration directives are an attempt to bypass Congress and undermine decades of federal immigration law, and the move is almost certainly going to be challenged in the courts by civil rights groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs has also voiced objections to the policy and is said to be mulling legal action.

Trump says that bold action is needed to stem the flow of migrants from Central America. The president maintains that only a strong deterrent will make migrants think twice before filing bogus asylum claims to gain admittance to the United States. The figures suggest that the situation at the nation’s southern border is extremely serious. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 475,000 migrant family members have been rejected at the border or apprehended after entering the country in the last 10 months.

Attorneys with immigration law experience may advise those who wish to live and work legally in the United States to consider pursuing a family or work-related visa if they are unable to meet the strict asylum criteria. The vast majority of asylum petitions are denied because asylum seekers cannot provide compelling evidence of a legitimate and credible fear or persecution based on their race, religion, national origin or political opinions.

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