U.S. jails some seekers of asylum, says report: Procedures to protect asylum seekers applied inconsistently

March 8, 2005

A commission set up by Congress has found some foreigners seeking a haven from persecution or torture are being unfairly held by the U.S. government in jails and jail-like facilities.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report last month on how expedited removal—under which immigration officials can detain and promptly deport immigrants arriving without documentation—is affecting internationals who are afraid to return to their countries of origin.

Experts appointed by the commission found procedures to protect asylum seekers under expedited removal were applied inconsistently. Also, most asylum seekers were detained in facilities resembling prisons—some actually in jails with convicted criminals. –Religion News Service