USCIS: Stop the Games! New Fear Interviews Now!
Take action: Call on USCIS to Grant New Fear Interviews for Jailed Berks Families
For over a year USCIS has sat on requests for new interviews for the over 22 mothers jailed at the Berks Family Immigration Prison. These families did not pass their initial interviews, however this is not uncommon. Many families are initially reluctant to open up about the numerous rapes, attempted murders and attacks on them. This is what you find when working with traumatized populations, and instead of allowing these families to have a second interview, USCIS is refusing to use its discretion to allow for it.
Sign this petition and send a message to USCIS that we expect the rights of our families to be protected.
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USCIS Asylum Office:
I write to request the immediate release of the families incarcerated at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania. As you are well aware, these families – mothers and children as young as two years old – have languished in jail for more than a year. They have suffered lasting physical and psychological trauma from their extended incarceration. And yet, the Department of Homeland Security has full discretion to relieve them of their ongoing pain – by releasing these families to the safety and care of their loved ones and community, like so many thousands of other asylum-seeking families. I implore you to act swiftly, with humanity.
These families were denied due process as a result of deficiencies during their “credible fear” interviews. The inadequacies of their first interviews are well known to you, and the dangers that await them in Central America are as terrible as those awaiting the mothers whose cases you have reconsidered in the past.
The Asylum Office is supposed to be independent, its decisions unaffected by politics. DHS's priority to deport is not supposed to influence your office's ability to reconsider whether a child will be shot dead within a week of deportation. It is not supposed to influence whether the asylum office stands idle while mothers watch, powerless, as their children sicken in detention and speak of suicide.
These mothers fled horrors that no human being should have to endure. They fled to new cities and were pursued. They went to the police and were turned away. The United States of America is their last resort, and we are failing them. You have the power to avoid a deadly mistake. You have done so in the past by simply granting new interviews, you can do it again. You can prevent a tragedy in Berks County and begin to wash the stain of family detention off of the national conscience by ending these families' suffering.
Act now, before it's too late.