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

Tobias Titz, Getty Images

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

The main plaintiff is a Jamaican immigrant green card holder from Brooklyn who has detained 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 facing deportation locked up with no chance for bail and without a hearing to determine whether they have a legitimate challenge to their removal.

A message left for federal immigration authorities was not immediately returned.

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