Trump administration expanding deportations without a hearing

Cheryl Sanders
July 23, 2019

"Under this unlawful plan, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court", Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants' Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

Currently, undocumented immigrants who cross into the land can be deported without an immigration hearing if they are arrested within 100 miles of the border during the first 14 days after their arrival.

The potential impact of the new measure is hard to predict. McAleenan said 20,570 people arrested in the nation's interior from October 2017 through September 2018 had been in the USA for less than two years, which would make them eligible for fast-track deportation under the new rule.

The fast-track deportations have become a major piece of US immigration enforcement over the last decade.

The rule set to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday would apply "expedited removal" to any illegal crossers who can not prove to immigration agents that they have been living in the country for two years.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, received authorization from the Trump administration to begin deporting a lot more immigrants without due process.

Human Rights Watch warned the change makes people living in USA communities subject to an opaque deportation process with limited judicial review.

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security released a version of this new policy on the Federal Register.

Balakrishnan called the policy shift "extremely sweeping", and said it authorizes any Customs and Border Protection officer to determine whether a person has been in the US the requisite amount of time to trigger legal proceedings. In various phrases, it goes to look at to immigrants who were within the USA for longer than two years but can't present instantaneous proof.

The expansion of the policy represents a "massive and risky change" for immigrant communities, one critic said.

"The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety - while reducing government costs - by facilitating prompt immigration determinations", DHS said in a notice.

The expansion of expedited removal could enable federal immigration officers to arrest and deport more migrants without adding to an already lengthy immigration court backlog.

The announcement was the second major policy shift in eight days following an unprecedented surge of families from Central America's Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Almost 950,000 cases are now pending in US immigration courts, with an average wait time of 713 days, or just under two years, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Last week, the administration said it will deny asylum to anyone who passes through other countries en route to the USA without seeking protection in at least one of those countries.

Royce Bernstein Murray, of the American Immigration Council, also vowed to challenge the policy in court, arguing that the broadened authority allows DHS "to essentially be both prosecutor and judge". In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order that effectively banned travel from several Muslim-majority countries; the order was immediately challenged by a number of activists and politicians alike and multiple judges moved to block the order.

A judge in San Francisco has set a hearing for Wednesday in a similar lawsuit.

Legal experts said it was a dramatic expansion of a program already used along the US-Mexican border that cuts out review by an immigration judge, usually without access to an attorney.

Other reports by iNewsToday