Judge weighs new DOJ policy keeping asylum seekers locked up

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle is hearing a challenge to a new Trump administration policy that keeps asylum seekers locked up while they pursue their cases.

Attorney General William Barr announced the policy in April. It affects immigrants who have recently entered the U.S. without permission and have demonstrated a credible fear of persecution or torture if returned to their home country.

The ACLU and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project say that for 50 years the government has granted asylum seekers hearings where they can show they are not a flight risk and pose no threat to the public. They say the new policy will keep thousands of immigrants in custody without due process.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman hears arguments in the case Friday.