SEATTLE (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has rejected a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of children who go without lawyers in deportation proceedings.

The lawsuit was filed two years ago in Seattle by immigrant rights advocates, following a flood of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border. It sought to force the government to appoint lawyers for the children.

In a decision Tuesday, three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's decision allowing the lawsuit. The appeals court said U.S. immigration law precludes such claims from being filed in U.S. District Court.

Instead, the judges said such claims must be brought individually and filed directly in federal appeals courts after deportations proceedings are exhausted.

Two of the judges called on Congress and the president to fix the crisis without judicial intervention.

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