Lawyers, judges push to close immigration courts amid virus

Lawyers, judges push to close immigration courts amid virus
Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 17:30:30-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Attorneys and judges in U.S. immigration courts are trying to protect themselves from the coronavirus with borrowed masks and hand sanitizer.

The Trump administration is resisting calls from immigration judges and attorneys to stop in-person hearings and shutter all immigration courts.

They say the most pressing hearings can still be done by phone so immigrants aren't stuck in detention indefinitely.

The government has delayed hearings for immigrants who aren't in detention but is moving forward for those who are.

Federal officials haven't ruled out a total shutdown but are closing specific courts and delaying hearings. They also say the court system encourages video conferencing when possible.

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