Judge declines to dismiss challenge to US asylum delays

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge says immigrant rights activists can continue to challenge what they describe as unlawful U.S. government delays for asylum cases.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle dismissed some arguments raised by the lawsuit in a ruling Tuesday.

But she says the activists can pursue their key claim that the delays violate the due process rights of detained asylum seekers across the country. The government sought to dismiss the case.

The lawsuit was filed by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Group legal director Matt Adams says President Donald Trump’s administration routinely delays granting asylum interviews and bond hearings that determine whether detainees are released as cases proceed.

Adams says delays sometimes pressure asylum seekers to agree to deportation and not remain in custody for weeks or months.

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