The Trump administration announced Monday its intent to expand the number of illegal, undocumented immigrants that are eligible for expedited removal from the U.S. to avoid more overcrowding at the already full detention facilities along the Southern border.
The Department of Homeland Security released a notice on Monday that any undocumented adult immigrants that could not provide evidence “that they have been physically present in the United States continuously for [a] two-year period” could possibly face expedited deportation. This means that they could be physically removed from the U.S. by immigration officials, skipping the typical deportation process which includes a court hearing with an immigration judge.
The purpose of these expedited deportations is to “enhance the national security and public safety – while reducing government costs – by facilitating prompt immigration determinations.”
According to acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, the “sole and unreviewable discretion” is given to immigration officials for more expansive eligibility for expedited removal is critical. According to McAleenan, a response to the serious crisis is needed.
“In light of the ongoing crisis at the southern border, the large number of aliens who entered illegally and were apprehended and detained within the interior of the United States, and DHS’s insufficient detention capacity both along the border and in the interior of the United States,” he said.
The expedited removal of illegal immigrants was created with the passing of the Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which allows removal without due process, and has predominantly been used to remove adult undocumented illegals apprehended within 14 days of entering the United States – and within 100-miles of the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada borders. Due to the extreme backlog of court immigration hearings, which can take several years, authority has been given to border officials for expedition to help resolve the serious issue.
The policy went into effect last Tuesday, and is one of the most aggressive actions we have seen from President Trump and his administration in an effort to resolve the growing problem of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The president hopes that by giving the U.S. Immigration and Customs Officials the authority to facilitate the removal of these illegal aliens, it “could result in thousands of additional deportations without due process.”
Immigrant rights groups have condemned Trump’s new policy, and have indicated their intent to sue the administration. According to Omar Jadwat, Director of the Immigrant’s Rights Project of the ACLU, “Under this unlawful plan, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court. We will sue to end this policy quickly.”