The Latest: Judge hears fight over Trump asylum policy

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FILE - In this Tuesday, March 19, 2019, file photo, two men, both of Honduras, gather with attorneys to pray before crossing into the United States to begin their asylum cases after being returned to Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico. A U.S. judge in San Francisco will scrutinize the Trump administration's policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico during a court hearing Friday, March 22, 2019, to help him decide whether to block the practice. Civil rights groups have asked Judge Richard Seeborg to put the asylum policy on hold while their lawsuit moves forward. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a court hearing on the Trump administration's policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

A U.S. judge says civil rights groups seeking to block the Trump administration's policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico had cleared basic requirements to bring their case.

But Judge Richard Seeborg appeared skeptical at a hearing on Friday of one of their key arguments in favor of an order stopping the policy while a lawsuit challenging it moves forward.

The lawsuit says the policy violates U.S. law by failing to adequately evaluate the dangers that migrants face in Mexico.

The administration says the policy is in response to a crisis at the southern border that has overwhelmed the ability of immigration officials to detain migrants.

Seeborg said the plaintiffs had authority to bring the case, and the court could hear it. But he questioned the argument that the policy violated a U.S. law that allows the return of immigrants to Mexico.

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10:15 p.m.

The Trump administration's policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico will face scrutiny from a U.S. judge in San Francisco.

Judge Richard Seeborg has scheduled a hearing Friday to help him decide whether to block the policy while a lawsuit moves forward. He's not expected to rule immediately.

The lawsuit by civil liberties groups claims the policy violates U.S. law by failing to adequately evaluate the dangers that migrants face in Mexico.

It also accuses the administration of depriving migrants of their right to apply for asylum by making it difficult or impossible to prepare their cases.

The administration says the policy is in response to a crisis at the southern border that has overwhelmed the ability of immigration officials to detain migrants.