Violations of the Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Other Non-citizens
The ICCPR recognizes that non-citizens in the United States have the rights to freedom from discrimination (Article 2), to not be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 7), to liberty and security of person (Article 9), as well as to due process and fair deportation procedures (Article 13). The U.S. Government imposes mandatory detention for a wide array of cases, including asylum seekers, others in expedited removal, or persons with criminal convictions, without discretion to release or place under bond or other supervised release conditions and without access to individualized custody determination. Mandatory detention for asylum seekers risks re-traumatization of refugees who are already in a psychologically delicate state. Many detention facilities, often contracted out to private prison companies, fail to provide access to adequate physical and mental medical care, family and legal counsel, and rehabilitative and educational services.
The United States also mandatorily deports people without consideration of individualized circumstances, such as family ties, in numerous cases. Additionally, the government has increasingly relied on streamlined immigration procedures that fail to guarantee rights of due process, access to counsel, and other fundamental safeguards of fairness. The right to an individualized, case-by-case assessment of the need to detain and criminally prosecute is undermined by the use of automatic prosecutorial programs, such as Operation Streamline. Immigration cases have made up the largest category of federal convictions for the past three consecutive years.