A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s plan to jail immigrants seeking asylum and deny them bail if they crossed the U.S. border without permission.
The ruling Tuesday in a class-action lawsuit brought by asylum applicants and their advocates is the latest in a string of court defeats for the President Donald Trump’s effort to prevent migrants along the southern border from reaching American towns and cities. Apprehensions of prospective asylum seekers have more than doubled in the last year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“It is the finding of this court that it is unconstitutional to deny these class members a bond hearing while they await a final determination of their asylum request,” U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle wrote.
The order requires immigration judges to conduct hearings for asylum applicants to ask for release on bail within seven days of a request if they have shown a “credible fear” of returning to their country of origin.
A group of asylum seekers won an earlier injunction from Pechman in April requiring the government to offer bail hearings. That month, U.S. Attorney General William Barr formally prevented asylum seekers from requesting bail hearings. Tuesday’s ruling specifically addresses and prohibits Barr’s policy, which was set to be enforced July 15.
The administration is expected to appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that people held in immigration detention, including those who arrived at the border seeking asylum, aren’t entitled to periodic hearings to decide if they may be released on bond.
*see full story by NewsMax