Dispossession by Deportation

Photo of family laying down

Photo: Morgan Smith

Customs and Border Protection often takes the most basic possessions—glasses, prescriptions, cash, wedding rings, crucifixes, rosaries, cell phones, personal identification, and even family pictures—from immigrants who are detained.

Once taken, these items are seldom returned to immigrants and are often destroyed by CBP, so immigrants are deported without the means to return to their place of origin or contact their families. This places them at risk of exploitation. Students with the project are working to resolve this issue on a systemic and policy level.

BJI students and volunteers have worked to compile documentation of different country conditions to support various claims for asylum. These “tables of contents” will be part of a larger packet designed to assist pro se asylum seekers.