A proposed settlement agreement reached between the Trump administration and plaintiffs in three lawsuits which outlines a plan to address the asylum claims of parents and children who were separated at the border under the government’s crackdown on illegal immigration is set to be reviewed Friday by a federal judge in San Diego overseeing the case.
Under the proposed agreement, parents who failed an initial interview to determine if they had “credible fear” to return to their home country, but who are still in the United States, would be granted a new interview.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit earlier this year seeking reunification of parents and their children who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Plaintiffs argued that parents couldn’t reasonably participate in credible fear interviews as their children were being forcibly taken from them.
In the proposal, the Trump administration does not agree to bring back deported parents to the United States, but such requests — which the plaintiffs said would be rare — could be raised on a case by case basis.
Under the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, thousands of families were separated at the border during a three-month period.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in June ordered families to be reunited, but more than 400 children remain in federal custody after being separated from their parents.
The settlement agreement would address the process to provide asylum seekers with a chance to seek the benefit. If either a parent or a child passes the credible fear interview, the family would not be subject to immediate removal from the U.S.
An attorney for the plaintiffs in one of the cases estimates that hundreds, maybe even more than 1,000 parents could receive a new asylum screening under the proposed settlement.
— City News Service
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