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A federal judge in Washington on Monday ordered the U.S. government to immediately release or grant hearings to more than 1,000 asylum seekers who have been jailed for months or years without individualized case reviews, dealing a blow to the Trump administration’s crackdown on migrants.
U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of Washington said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ignored its own policy stating that asylum applicants who establish a “credible fear” of persecution in their native country must be granted a court hearing within seven days or released.
He granted a preliminary injunction preventing the government from blanket detentions of asylum seekers at five large U.S. field offices, including those currently held, pending resolution of the lawsuit.
The article goes on to state the following:
“As the events of recent months make clear, the question of how this nation will treat those who come to our shores seeking refuge generates enormous debate,” Boasberg wrote in a 38-page opinion, an allusion to the administration’s family separation policy recently implemented and then abandoned amid international condemnation.
“This Opinion does no more than hold the Government accountable to its own policy, which recently has been honored more in the breach than the observance. Having extended the safeguards of the Parole Directive to asylum seekers, ICE must now ensure that such protections are realized,” Boasberg said.
The lawsuit was filed in behalf of nine detained asylum seekers from Haiti, Venezuela and other countries who were initially determined to have credible stories and have been jailed for months and up to two years awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, lawyers said. Two have been granted asylum and released since the case was filed in March, said attorneys with the ACLU and the Covington & Burling law firm.
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