SAN DIEGO (AP) – Immigrant advocacy groups have sued the U.S. government, alleging that people fleeing persecution are frequently turned away at border crossings with Mexico when they seek asylum or express fear of returning to their homeland.
Reports of people being denied an opportunity to seek asylum have grown, but the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles pushes the issue into a courtroom. The case could have far-reaching consequences if a judge grants class-action status.
The American Immigration Council and others say Customs and Border Protection has blocked access to the asylum process for hundreds of people at border crossings in California, Arizona and Texas since last year, violating federal law and international treaty obligations.
Customs and Border Protection says it won’t comment on pending litigation.
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