Federal Judge to ICE: Stop Blanket Arrests of Asylum Seekers

A federal judge on Monday ordered the U.S. government to stop the blanket arrests of asylum seekers at five major Immigration and Customs Enforcement field offices, dealing yet another blow to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” border policy. U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of the District of Columbia said in a 38-page memorandum opinion that ICE has been violating its own rules for asylum seekers by failing to grant them a timely court hearing to establish “credible fear” in their home countries. The ruling “does no more than hold the government accountable to its own policy, which recently has been honored more in the breach than the observance,” Boasberg wrote. He issued a preliminary injunction ordering the government to immediately grant hearings to or release more than 1,000 asylum seekers who have already been detained for months without proper reviews. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU in March alleging that the Trump administration has drastically increased detentions of asylum seekers in order to deter migrants from coming to the U.S.