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Judge: Asylum screenings should proceed in family separations case

Posted: 7:44 PM, Oct 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-19 16:50:36Z

SAN DIEGO (CNS/KGTV) - A federal judge in San Diego today ordered the Trump administration to immediately start new asylum screenings for eligible reunified families, despite objections from the government that the agreement has not been finalized.

Under the proposed settlement agreement – which U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw gave unofficial preliminary approval to last month – reunited migrant families would get a second chance at applying for asylum.

Attorneys for the migrant families argued that when the families were separated at the border, most children were not interviewed to determine if they had a credible fear of returning to their native country. Their parents were granted interviews, but were so distraught after being separated that they didn't clearly advocate for themselves, attorneys said.

Under the settlement, reunited migrant families still in the U.S. will be allowed to remain until all family members have completed the asylum process.

When Sabraw unofficially approved the settlement, both sides agreed that the asylum determination process should get underway as soon as possible.

Sabraw granted preliminary approval last week, paving the way for credible fear interviews to proceed within days of a migrant confirming his or her wishes to go forward with an asylum claim.

The ruling appears to apply to about 60 people who are detained and had signed paperwork agreeing to the terms of the new process.

It could end up applying to many more.

Another status conference on the class-action lawsuit is scheduled next month.