A federal lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey challenging the government's system of mandatory detention for immigrants facing deportation.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the class-action suit Thursday on behalf of hundreds of immigrants in detention in New Jersey.

One of the plaintiffs is a Jamaican green card holder from Brooklyn who has been detained in New Jersey while facing deportation for a decades-old attempted drug sale charge.


The ACLU says the suit seeks to challenge the federal government's policy of keeping immigrants who face deportation locked up with no opportunity for a bail hearing to determine whether they have a legitimate challenge to their removal.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they do not comment on pending litigation.