Federal judge blocks Trump policy of detaining asylum-seekers indefinitely

Protest in New York against Trump detention policy
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle blocked a Trump administration policy Tuesday that would have prevented asylum-seekers from requesting bail in front of neutral immigration judges. That policy, announced by Attorney General William Barr in April and set to take effect July 15, would have kept migrants who had successfully demonstrated a credible fear of torture or persecution back home detained in the U.S. for months or years while their asylum claim was processed.

The migrants are entitled to Fifth Amendment due-process protections, including "a longstanding prohibition against indefinite civil detention with no opportunity to test its necessity," Peshman wrote. The government must allow asylum-seekers a bond hearing within seven days of their request, and if that deadline isn't met, the migrant must be released. The national class action was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. The Justice Department is expected to appeal Peshman's ruling.

To be released on bond, asylum-seekers have to convince an immigration judge they are not flight risks and don't pose a threat to the public, The Associated Press reports. Leaving detention "gives the asylum-seekers an opportunity to reunite with relatives in the U.S. and to find lawyers to handle their asylum claims, making them more likely to succeed." About half of asylum-seekers are released after their bond hearings.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us