Putting TRAC to Work
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Human Rights First
February 26, 2015

Without a Lawyer, 98.5% of Mother and Child Asylum Seekers Deported
By Meredith Kucherov

Last year thousands of Central American asylum seekers crossed our southern border, many of them mothers travelling with young children. The Obama administration quickly locked many of them in detention centers and denied bond, arguing they constituted a “national security threat.” That’s right: toddlers and their moms, fleeing horrific violence with hardly a possession to their name, a threat to U.S. national security. Still, many of these families passed credible fear interviews—a preliminary screening with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer to determine whether asylum seekers have a credible fear of torture or persecution if returned to their home country. By passing the credible fear screenings, USCIS is essentially saying that the person has a significant chance of qualifying for asylum. But according to the most recent Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) data, 98.5% of these women with children are deported when they don’t have legal representation. That’s 98.5% of families who the U.S. government has determined have a credible fear of torture or persecution upon their return. And many of their fears have proven justified.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
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