Surveillance of Asylum Seekers May Increase

Many of the people seeking asylum are survivors of terrible ordeals. Political and official persecution based on your race, religion, ethnicity or membership in a disfavored group can make life unbearable. Escape to a country free from these biases is the only hope for many asylum seekers.

Unfortunately, a new program may soon be expanded with the effect of treating asylum seekers in a way many consider unacceptable. The Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program is one item being discussed by government officials in the most recent negotiations.

What Is the Family Expedited Removal Management Program?

FERM is one of several programs used as alternatives to detention. Rather than keeping asylum seekers in a secure location, some programs grant a greater level of freedom. While this sounds like a good thing, FERM comes with a number of negative consequences for asylum seekers who qualify.

  • Heads of households in the program are made to wear GPS ankle monitors.
  • They are also subject to strict curfews that can put them in a tough spot.

In theory, these programs help the people involved to have their applications decided accurately and quickly. In practice, the FERM program may put asylum seekers at a disadvantage.

What’s Wrong With FERM?

Perhaps the most glaring problem with FERM is that it treats asylum seekers like they’ve done something wrong. Ankle monitors are not a small inconvenience. Forcing someone to wear one without a good reason is unconscionable.

The problem with a curfew is similar. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) claims FERM is intended to move asylum seekers through the application process in a timely manner. Basically, the system is meant to keep people from missing required interviews or hearings. That goal isn’t furthered by a curfew.

A Better Solution

The best way to help asylum seekers process applications in a timely manner is to make sure they’re represented by an attorney. An experienced immigration attorney will ensure that everything is in place to have the application reviewed correctly.

Not detaining asylum seekers is a good start. But we also need to stop treating them with suspicion and focus on making the process better.

At our law office in Dallas, we have years of experience helping with asylum applications and other immigration law concerns. We can discuss your situation and determine the best course of action for moving forward. Call us at 972-445-7577 or contact us online to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

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