Attorney General William Barr showed Tuesday night that covering up the Mueller report isn’t his only way to show loyalty to Donald Trump. Barr is also indulging Trump’s fetish for putting brown people in cages, with an order that would keep many migrants in detention indefinitely.
Barr’s order would reverse the policy of allowing asylum-seekers to request a bond hearing after they show that they have credible fear of returning to their home country. That means that, under current policy, they can be released on bail instead of staying in jail for the much longer process of having their claim decided. Barr now says that a migrant caught crossing the border between ports of entry, “after establishing a credible fear of persecution or torture, is ineligible for release on bond.” The order wouldn’t apply to people arriving at ports of entry—but remember, the Trump administration is slowing down the process at ports of entry, keeping people waiting to enter legally.
Barr’s order threatens to completely overwhelm already overcrowded detention facilities. It’s also guaranteed to be challenged in court, with the ACLU tweeting that “Our Constitution does not allow the government to lock up asylum seekers without basic due process. We’ll see the administration in court. Again.”