Attorney general’s overruling of precedent set under George W Bush opens door to indefinite detention of thousands

The Trump administration has opened the door to a seismic overhaul of immigration and asylum procedure that could lead to the indefinite detention of thousands of asylum seekers who cross the border illegally.

The US attorney general, William Barr, on Tuesday issued guidance overruling a precedent set by George W Bush’s justice department in 2005, which enshrined asylum seekers’ right to bond, irrespective of how they entered the country.

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