El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

NPT: Looking for asylum

News release received by NPT:


EL PASO, TX – On Thursday, June 11th, 2009, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center will hold a protest on the behalf of asylum seekers, specifically Ruben Duarte-Acosta at 9 a.m. in front of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) located at 1545 Hawkins Blvd.

Ruben Duarte-Acosta and his family arrived at the United States-Mexico border in June 2007 seeking asylum in the United States after being persecuted by a known drug cartel. Duarte-Acosta was separated from his family during processing because he was 21 years old at the time. His family was sent to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, TX, where they were granted parole by the San Antonio Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Detention and Removal Office (DRO).

Duarte-Acosta was detained and incarcerated by ICE for the last 18 months despite requesting humanitarian parole multiple times. Field Director of the El Paso Processing Center, Robert E. Jolicouer, who oversees requests for parole bydetainees has continually denied parole for people like Duarte-Acosta, a formerindustrial engineering student with no criminal history. Asylees like Duarte-Acosta who flee impending death and persecution do not pose a threat to the community.

“We are protesting on the behalf of all similarly situated asylum seekers, like Ruben Duarte- Acosta,” said managing attorney Eduardo Beckett of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, who represents Duarte-Acosta. “There are many detainees like Duarte-Acosta, young law abiding adults who have been targeted by the cartel for making a stand against drugs. He has gone from persecution in Mexico to prison in the United States.”

Multiple requests have been continually denied by Mr. Jolicouer, citing that Duarte-Acosta’s release was “not in the interest of the U.S. Government.” “On the contrary,” said attorney Beckett, “it is not in the public interest to pay for his incarceration, which according to the Human Rights Watch Report, “U.S. Detention of Asylum Seekers seeking Protection finding Prison”, costs tax payers on average of $95.00 each day.”

Furthermore, El Paso Detention and Removal Officers have continually denied Duarte-Acosta complete access to his own medical records without legitimate reason. This action is inconsistent with ICE/DRO detention standards, which states that “copies of health records shall be released by the administrative health authority directly to the detainee.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

June 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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