This AFP file photo taken on February 15, 2017 shows temporary agricultural workers returning to the Port of Entry in San Luis, Arizona, on the US-Mexico border.
An American civil liberties advocacy group has sued the federal government for the long-term detention of immigrants, saying many are held for months while waiting to see an immigration judge.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit on Thursday in federal court on behalf of three Mexicans at an immigration detention center in San Diego, California.
The lawsuit was filed against the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.
The ACLU called the detention time excessive and a violation of constitutional rights of people in custody.
Immigrants "routinely languish in detention for two months or longer before they see a judge," according to the lawsuit.
The civil liberties group requested in the lawsuit to represent all those who are held on immigration violations along California's border with Mexico for more than 48 hours.
The US Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that immigrants who were being deported could not be held longer than six months.
    The administration of President Donald Trump has significantly expanded immigration and border enforcement, which will put further pressure on already crowded detention centers and courts unless Congress provides more financial resources.
    The legal action comes as Trump is under fire for his anti-immigrant policies, which have mostly targeted Muslims and Mexicans.
    Trump signed a new executive order last week that blocks visas for people from six Muslim-majority nations, including Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen for 90 days. It also temporarily halts the US refugee program.
    The new order, which goes into effect on Thursday, was issued after a federal court in Seattle, Washington, ordered a nationwide halt to the original travel ban.
    Washington was the first state to sue over Trump’s initial executive order. The lawsuit said the ban was unconstitutional and hurt the state's businesses and universities.
    Several states have joined Hawaii in filing lawsuits against Trump’s new executive order.
    Men pray during a protest by ethnic Yemenis and supporters over President Donald Trump's travel ban in New York City, February 2, 2017. (AFP photo)
    On Friday, hundreds of Muslims from the Yemeni American community held a protest in front of San Francisco's city hall to protest Trump’s new immigration order.
    The protest was staged alongside other immigrant and minority advocacy groups.
    “This feels like an attack on our identities as Muslims, as Yemenis and as Americans," said Jehan Hakim, with the Asian Law Caucus, a group of lawyers that has been assisting immigrants with legal matters relating to the travel ban.

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