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"Fast-Track" processing for asylum seekers.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Update.

    From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer

    washingtonpost.com
    Rights Groups Protest Jailing of Asylum Seekers
    Element of Stepped-Up Homeland Security Called 'Shocking'

    By John Mintz
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, March 18, 2003; 2:54 PM


    Civil-rights groups and immigration advocacy organizations are protesting one element in the government's security procedures announced yesterday in anticipation of war in Iraq--a decision to jail asylum seekers from dozens of mostly Muslim nations while officials check out their claims of persecution in their home countries.

    The complaints rose as security was stepped up across the country today, with more federal agents assigned to U.S. borders, increased deployment of Coast Guard ships and aircraft at seaports, and health officials placed on special alert to watch for possible chemical or biological attack. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge also asked many of the nation's 50 governors to deploy the National Guard or state police at sensitive sites such as chemical plants and railroad bridges.

    In addition, on Monday evening at the same time as President Bush's speech on war in Iraq, Ridge announced he was raising the nation's threat alert level to orange or "high risk'' because of the danger terrorists would retaliate for a U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    "It's a shocking development,'' Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil-rights group, said of the asylum policy. "Many asylum applications can take years. It seems unfair to put people in jail who are escaping persecution and who have done nothing wrong just because they are from certain countries.''

    Ridge defended the new policy as a prudent and temporary measure to allow U.S. officials to keep track of asylum applicants while the government investigates their claims that they were in danger in their native lands.

    "We want to make absolutely certain you are who you say you are,'' Ridge said at a news conference at the new department's headquarters inside a secure U.S. Navy facility in Washington.

    Officials said the new security procedures are considerably more stringent even than on the two previous occasions when the government raised the security level to orange, the second highest of five tiers. That occurred around the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and again last month in response to an upsurge in reported threats.

    "Your federal government is ready,'' Ridge said. "We're going to do everything possible to minimize disruption'' to people and commerce during the new security alert, he added.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    From http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0030317-9.html

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Asylum Modifications

    Asylum Detainees – Asylum applicants from nations where al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda sympathizers, and other terrorist groups are known to have operated will be detained for the duration of their processing period. This reasonable and prudent temporary action allows authorities to maintain contact with asylum seekers while we determine the validity of their claim. DHS and the Department of State will coordinate exceptions to this policy.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest started a topic "Fast-Track" processing for asylum seekers.

    "Fast-Track" processing for asylum seekers.

    From http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0030317-9.html

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Asylum Modifications

    Asylum Detainees – Asylum applicants from nations where al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda sympathizers, and other terrorist groups are known to have operated will be detained for the duration of their processing period. This reasonable and prudent temporary action allows authorities to maintain contact with asylum seekers while we determine the validity of their claim. DHS and the Department of State will coordinate exceptions to this policy.
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