On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the Department of Homeland Security has been ignoring its own 2009 directive requiring that asylum seekers receive individualized reviews of their cases, instead making blanket detention decisions.
District Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that necessitates the Department of Homeland Security follow the directive. "To mandate that ICE provide these baseline procedures to those entering our country — individuals who have often fled violence and persecution to seek safety on our shores — is no great judicial leap," he said.
Before the Trump administration, most people seeking asylum were granted release in the U.S. to await their final hearing in front of an immigration judge, unless they were deemed threats to public safety. In March, nine asylum seekers — including an ethics teacher from Haiti who was attacked after teaching students about government corruption and a gay man from Honduras who was threatened by a gunman — sued, with all saying they had been held for several months, and in one case more than two years, with no explanation as to why they were still in custody.