For Many Refugees, the Journey to America Ends in a Cold Jail Cell

While the United States decides their fate, asylum seekers sit in immigration detention.

"The Taliban, they killing all the time," Khan says in broken English. To emphasize this point, he lifts his hands and makes a tat-tat-tat noise as if hoisting a machine gun. "The Taliban doesn't know the word 'sorry.' You may be fine for one year, two year, three year, four year — then maybe 15 years they come for you."

Khan explains that a judge had asked him for police reports of the killing and death certificates for his parents, but those records either didn't exist or were impossible for his friends and family in Pakistan to obtain. It's likely impossible to verify his story without visiting his village to investigate.

Khan tells his tale the same afternoon Mohamed speaks of his escape from Somalia. As the African describes walking through a Brazilian jungle with human smugglers and dodging bandits along the migrant trail in Central America, he is clearly aware of how implausible it sounds.

Benicio "Benny" Diaz, staff attorney at American Gateways in San Antonio, spends a lot of his time visiting detention centers.
Courtesy of American Gateways
Benicio "Benny" Diaz, staff attorney at American Gateways in San Antonio, spends a lot of his time visiting detention centers.

"I tell the truth," he interrupts himself to declare. "I cannot lie before God."

Joe Tone and Margaret Downing contributed to this article.

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11 comments
fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

Wonder how many immigrants seeking asylum are from countries that have been wrecked by U.S. intervention? Yeah yeah, I know the U.S. has not caused all the problems in unstable countries, but not for lack of trying.

texasnative46
texasnative46

To All,

May I suggest that all of these people who  are whining/whimpering/ about "the poor, pitiful refugees" start PAYING FOR their expenses from their own pocket instead of expecting the taxpayers to pay?

When we adopted our daughter from overseas about 2 decades ago, we were REQUIRED by the US Government to assure that she "would not become a burden on the public".

Until/Unless the "immigrant advocates" start PAYING for the people, who they whine about, themselves  I'll believe NOTHING that they bray about. = "Put your money where your mouth is".

yours, tn

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

@texasnative46 - Perhaps the U.S. should stop wrecking so many countries, stop inducing factional civil wars that increase refugees, etc. That would save money enough to provide healthcare and advanced education for Americans - like other first world industrial countries provide. Several of the smaller, weaker countries the U.S. helped to wreck lately even provided healthcare and advanced education for their people - well, they don't so much now, since the U.S. wrecked their infrastructure and shattered their societies, e.g., Iraq, Libya.



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cherrypoppingdaddy06
cherrypoppingdaddy06

Perhaps the people should go to India, or China for work...Here illegals are not welcome ..but jailed..
  In reality who knows they are criminals or not?   God bless the good folks who really need help.

jrm_94ford
jrm_94ford

The GOP has gotten really good on sitting on a lot of issuies

Puller58
Puller58

Asylum advocates ignore reality and dwell on sentimental stereotypes.

ad1389
ad1389

Accepting any refugees who are practicing Muslims is suicidal. They aren't the victims - they are the aggressors. We should be accepting the Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and other non-Muslims that the Muslims persecute in every Muslim-run country.

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

@ad1389 - The U.S. encourages factional conflict in the Middle East because it keeps the people divided. When the factions within a state are united they have a history of wanting more control of their natural resources and less external influence, e.g., Iraq, Libya, etc. 


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