Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08061269 (posted Jun. 12, 2008)"
On 6/11/08, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation to ensure humane treatment for asylum seekers and other detained immigrants.
The "Secure and Safe Detention and Asylum Act" (S. 3114), is sponsored by Senators Lieberman (ID-CT), Brownback (R-KS), Kennedy (D-MA), and Hagel (R-NE).
- Mandate improved detention conditions, including prompt medical care that complies with accreditation requirements, unobstructed access to legal counsel, limits on the use of solitary confinement and other punitive treatment, and special standards for families and for victims of persecution and torture;
- Substantially enhance the rights of asylum seekers and others to have their detentions promptly reviewed by an immigration judge, and to be considered for release if they pose no risk to public safety;
- Enhance alternatives to detention such as supervised release programs;
- Require the recording of interviews with detained asylum seekers and other quality assurance measures to ensure they are not erroneously returned to countries where they fear persecution;
- Establish an Office of Detention Oversight within the Department of Homeland Security to audit and investigate detention facilities' compliance with standards and to report to Congress; and
- Mandate the reporting and investigation of all deaths that occur in detention facilities.