ACLU sues government over detention of asylum seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal court to intervene on behalf of asylum seekers, saying they are being unfairly detained while they await hearings before an immigration judge.

ACLU lawyers told a federal judge in Washington on Thursday that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has been ignoring its own guidelines since Donald Trump became president.

Asylum seekers must initially pass a screening to determine if they face persecution in their home countries. Under long-standing practice, those meeting that standard were given humanitarian parole while awaiting an immigration hearing unless they were considered a flight risk or a public threat.

The ACLU alleges that since Trump became president, the number of asylum seekers granted humanitarian parole has dropped to nearly zero in several key ICE districts.

The judge didn't immediately rule.