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Judge Bars Trump Administration From Detaining Asylum Seekers Without Cause

Under Judge James E. Boasberg’s injunction, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must grant parole to asylum seekers once they have passed a “credible fear interview,” as per a 2009 ICE directive


A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from arbitrarily detaining asylum seekers at the border. The ruling comes in response to a suit filed in March by the American Civil Liberties Union.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg ruled the Trump administration was violating a 2009 Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive. Under that rule, ICE must grant parole to any asylum seeker who passes what's known as a "credible fear interview." That's an interview used to determine if they have a legitimate reason to fear persecution or torture if they're deported.

Geoffrey Hoffman, director of the University of Houston Law Center's Immigration Clinic, spoke with Houston Matters. "In 2009, about 90 percent were actually released," said Hoffman. "And then under the Trump administration, according to the stats that were given to the federal judge, about 100 percent were denied parole in various field offices, including El Paso, Philadelphia and Newark."

Houston Matters contacted the Justice Department for a response to the ruling, but the department declined to comment.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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