ACLU Urges Biden Not to Bring Back Rushed Screenings in CBP Custody

January 27, 2023 3:55 pm

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WASHINGTON — Reuters reported Thursday that the Biden administration is poised to restart a program that would force asylum seekers through screenings in inhumane conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Biden, early on in his presidency, suspended similar pilot programs that were instituted by the Trump administration, and which the American Civil Liberties Union sued over.

Jonathan Blazer, director of border strategies at the ACLU, had the following reaction:

“News that the Biden administration is considering bringing back flawed Trump-era asylum screenings that sacrificed fairness and due process is highly alarming. Vulnerable asylum seekers were forced to undergo chaotic screenings in Customs and Border Protection holding facilities – which are notorious for deplorable conditions and unequipped for overnight stays – without time to prepare or access counsel. Unsurprisingly, a large portion of these people had their claims rejected and were sent back to potential danger at far higher rates than normal. If Biden institutes a similar policy, that is exactly what will happen again.”

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