The Trump administration is planning to dramatically expand "fast-track" deportations, making hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the US vulnerable to removal without going through immigration court proceedings.
The change casts a wider net of undocumented immigrants subject to the fast-track deportation procedure known as "expedited removal", which allows immigration authorities to remove an individual without a hearing before an immigration judge.
The current expedited removal policy began in 2004 and permits the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for less than two weeks, if they are apprehended 100 miles or less from a USA border.
To avoid a fast-track deportation process, an undocumented immigrant will have to prove they've been in the country for more than two years. DHS said that as of June there were 909,034 pending immigration cases.
"Immigration officials' methods for interviewing migrants in expedited removal procedures are seriously flawed, leading to the rapid return to other countries of people who face harm, contrary to USA law and global standards", HRW said Monday.
Citing Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan's "sole and unreviewable discretion", the notice declares that a more expansive eligibility for expedited removal is necessary "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". In a 2017 report, she wrote about the perils of the expedited removal process for legitimate asylum seekers, arguing that it restricts them from accessing counsel and often delays the process by which they can gain protection in the U.S.
Mr. McAleenan, in the new witness, stated the 100-mile policy ignores some obvious conditions where expedited removal could per chance per chance be appropriate.
It was likely the policy would be blocked quickly by a court, several experts said.
Omar Jawdat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, slammed the plan as "unlawful". The expanded process is set to take effect Tuesday.
"The Trump administration is moving forward into converting ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) into a "show me your papers" army", said Vanita Gupta, the president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, on a call with reporters. (According to CityLab, over 65 percent of the US population lives within that border zone.) Moreover, the expanded rule would allow those officers to deport folks who have been in the USA for fewer than two years - not just two weeks.
Legal expert Jackie Stevens, a political science professor at Northwestern University, told Reuters that about 1% of the people detained by ICE and 0.5% of those deported were actually USA citizens.
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