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The Nation

A hearing has been scheduled for Monday in federal court in Brownsville, Tex., on a motion to overturn the U.S. government’s policy of forcing Central American refugees to remain in South Texas while their asylum applications are processed. The Immigration and Naturalization Service had allowed refugees to travel to their destination cities to await evaluation. But last Dec. 16, the agency changed its policy, leading to hardships for thousands of refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua who cross into the United States from Mexico and must find temporary housing, food and clothing while awaiting the evaluation process. The lawsuit, filed by the refugees, accuses the INS of imposing a policy change without allowing public comment, of denying aliens access to the asylum process and access to counsel and improperly restricting the right to work.


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