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Lawsuit Filed Against DHS, ICE for Detaining Asylum Seekers

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WESLACO – A lawsuit filed against the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security and several ICE officials alleges they’re unlawfully detaining asylum seekers.

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid filed the lawsuit on behalf of five people. All of them fled their countries due to violence and fear of retaliation or torture.

They presented themselves at U.S. ports of entry and asked for asylum.

Attorney Jennifer Harbury said only asylum seekers who are pregnant, a minor or accompanying a minor are considered for parole from detention, while their asylum case is considered.

She said none of the five plaintiffs in the suit have committed a crime.

"They're just being held indefinitely in detention. One man who was run out of Ghana because he is gay, his house was burnt, his partner was given 100 lashes, has been in jail now for more than 20 months," said Harbury.

The lawsuit claims holding asylum seekers indefinitely in detention goes against refugee treaties.

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