A Humane Approach Can Work: The Effectiveness of Alternatives to Detention for Asylum Seekers
American Immigration Council and Center for Migration Studies, 2015
18 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 22, 2015
This paper argues that widespread U.S. detention of asylum seekers is not only harmful, but unnecessary. It summarizes empirical research that asylum seekers fleeing persecution arrive uniquely inclined to appear for court hearings, and will do so if they are treated humanely and fairly — i.e. released instead of detained, and provided legal assistance before their hearing. Given this evidence, the U.S. government should design a system of supervised release with legal assistance for asylum seekers — which can work with both far less human cost and financial cost to taxpayers.
Keywords: asylum, detention, alternatives to detention, supervised release, incarceration, procedural justice, expedited removal, access to counsel, access to justice
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