Lawsuit Attacks INS Refugee Procedures

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Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States will have their day in court over a new immigration policy that has bottled up thousands of Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Guatemalans in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Immigration attorneys on Friday filed suit in Brownsville, Texas, against the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The lawsuit seeks to halt the new policy which aims to stem the expanding flow of Central American refugees by curtailing their travel and employment in the country. Local officials in south Texas, who had been alarmed about the large number of homeless aliens, on Thursday dropped plans for their own lawsuit against INS. Their fears were calmed after the agency sent additional asylum adjudicators to the Valley with the goal of deciding each alien's case within 30 days.

Last year nearly 30,000 Central Americans entered the US through south Texas, but most of them had been moving to other parts of the country until the new policy was announced last month.

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