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Judge Orders ICE to Stop Detaining Asylum Seekers

Federal judge says US government is violating its own rules regarding the treatment of people seeking asylum
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2018 7:00 PM CDT
Judge James "Jeb" Boasberg in Washington, DC   (Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM via AP)

(Newser) – A federal judge has determined the US government is violating its own rules regarding the treatment of people seeking asylum. Judge James Boasberg issued a preliminary injunction Monday ordering the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to stop what opponents called the arbitrary detention of legitimate asylum seekers, per the AP. All immigrants seeking asylum must pass an initial screening to determine if they face a real threat of persecution in their home countries. Previously, those who passed were usually given humanitarian parole while awaiting an immigration hearing. Lawyers for the ACLU and other groups argued that since the start of President Donald Trump's administration, the number of people granted such parole has dropped to almost zero in five key ICE districts. Boasberg ordered a sweeping review of all such cases.

Per USA Today, Boasberg's ruling requires Homeland Security to follow its own 2009 directive requiring reviews of each individual case and argued that detaining every undocumented border crosser breaks with that directive. "The issuance of injunctive relief in this case serves only to hold Defendants accountable to their own governing policies and to ensure that Plaintiffs receive the protections they are due under the Parole Directive," the judge wrote. Boasberg, who was first appointed to the DC Circuit by President George W. Bush, was in the news just days ago when his ruling blocked Kentucky's work requirements for Medicaid and ordered the Trump administration to reconsider the program. (Read more immigration stories.)

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