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Judges must consider ability to pay in asylum-seekers’ bond

February 12, 2018

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A federal court order being praised by civil rights advocates requires immigration judges to consider an asylum seeker’s ability to pay in setting terms for his release.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and International Refugee Assistance Project sought the ruling on behalf of immigrants detained at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility while awaiting asylum hearings.

It clarifies a November ruling that said those who’d been denied parole should get new hearings and detainees held for six months or more were entitled to parole hearings.

The NYCLU said Monday that since the November ruling, immigration judges have frequently set bonds that detainees who fled persecution in their homelands can’t afford to pay.

The ruling issued Friday says the judge must consider a detainee’s financial circumstances and alternative conditions of release.

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