Appeals court determines asylum seeker has right to hearing

March 07, 2019 - 3:30 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court in California has determined that a Sri Lankan man who is a member of the Tamil ethnic minority has the right to go before a judge after failing an initial asylum screening.

The decision Thursday could have major implications for those seeking asylum, and could further clog the immigration court system.

The 46-year-old man said he was jailed and tortured for his political activity during the civil war and escaped, eventually arriving in the United States via Mexico. He asked for asylum, but did not pass his initial screening, known as a "credible fear" interview. He was placed into deportation proceedings.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf. A three-judge panel in San Francisco agreed he has a right to go before a judge.

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