NEW YORK (AP) — A civil lawsuit filed by immigration rights advocates in New York City has accused federal authorities of denying detainees their day in court.
The suit filed Thursday in federal court in Manhattan says the amount of time people accused of immigration violations in New York and New Jersey go before a judge is growing at an “alarming rate.”
The suit was filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups against Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. It says the average wait time between arrest and initial court appearance had grown to 42 days last year, up from 11 days in 2014.
The average was 80 days into July of this year, according to the suit.
The ICE office in New York declined comment on Friday.
“While they wait in jail, most detainees lack basic information about the charges and evidence against them, do not know the steps required to prepare to apply for bond or to defend themselves in their removal cases, and do not have lawyers,” according to the suit.
One of the plaintiffs is a man who has lived in New York for nearly two decades. The suit says he was detained last month and still hasn’t been brought to court.
The detainees “have no effective mechanism to mitigate this delay,” according to the suit.