Fast and without trial: ICE will deport even more illegal immigrants
On Wednesday, October 21, the Trump administration said more illegal immigrants would be identified as eligible for prompt deportation without trial. She instructed federal immigration agents to monitor the nationwide spread of the policy, which has long been confined to border areas. CBS News.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is introducing new rules, promulgated in July 2019, that allow agents to expand their use of “expedited removal,” a faster deportation process mandated by a 1996 law that prohibits some immigrants from seeking help from immigration court.
Prior to the enactment of a new policy, which was held in federal court until last month, immigration authorities were only allowed to use expedited removal for immigrants detained within 100 miles of the international border and only those who could not demonstrate that they had entered the country legally. and stayed in the United States for at least two weeks.
The update will apply expedited deportation to undocumented immigrants detained anywhere in the United States if the deportation agents determine that these people have lived in the country for less than two years and have not been admitted to the United States under conditional or legal status. The immigrant will bear the “affirmative burden of proof” that he is not eligible for disciplinary deportation.
The Trump administration said the new expedited expulsion rules would allow ICE to save money and resources normally used for long-term detention and help the immigration court system cut down on the huge backlog of cases.
“Our ability to implement this important legislative instrument will protect our communities and preserve the integrity of the immigration laws approved by the nation's Congress,” said Tony Fama, a senior ICE director in a statement.
However, immigrant lawyers and advocates said that by denying them legal action and a realistic opportunity to seek legal assistance, the policy tramples immigrants' rights to due process. They said it might be difficult for immigrants to provide documents and other evidence proving that they have lived in the United States for at least two years, and warned that some of them may be placed on an expedited removal procedure despite the fact that they are exempted from this on paper ...
Donald Kerwin, executive director of the New York-based think tank's Center for Migration Studies, expressed concern about the powers given to ICE's deportation officers as part of the rule expansion, saying they are not neutral arbitrators like immigration judges.
“Making immigration a judge, prosecutor, jury, police is ridiculous in terms of the rule of law and due process,” Kerwin told CBS News.
Immigrants eligible for expedited removal may be able to participate in regular deportation proceedings if the asylum officer finds that they do fear persecution in their country, or if they successfully prove that they have lawful domicile or other legal status exempting from rapid deportation.
During a press conference in Philadelphia, ICE chief Pham said his agents are undergoing "pragmatic and serious training" to ensure compliance with the new rules. In its announcement, ICE said its employees must complete web-based training before applying this policy.
According to an internal guidance issued when the new rules were published last year, ICE expected to use an expanded “first” fast-expulsion policy for immigrants with criminal charges or convicts held in local or federal prisons, as well as for individuals arrested during operations in the workplace, suspected of hiring unauthorized workers.
The guide also states that deportation agents can, at their discretion, exempt certain individuals from the new rules if they are longtime residents of the United States, primary guardians of American children, or if they have strong ties to the country or they are eligible for an exemption from expulsion. In line with the ICE directive, if applicable, “mental competence issues” should also be considered.
ICE agents were told that immigrants can use financial, school and employment records to prove they have lived in the US for more than two years.
ICE's move to give deportation agents broad powers to remove immigrants who have failed to prove they have lived in the U.S. for more than two years is part of President Trump's broader efforts to expand immigration controls and lift judicial restrictions imposed by previous Democratic and Republican administrations.
The implementation of the expanded fast-track expulsion policy also comes shortly before the presidential election, which will determine the fate of Trump's restrictive immigration program, which Joe Biden has promised to cancel.
In the weeks leading up to the November elections, top national security officials touted a series of ICE operations in cities across the United States, from California to New York, that had adopted so-called “asylum” policies to limit local law enforcement cooperation with federal authorities.
ICE recently installed highway billboards in Pennsylvania that show undocumented immigrants freed by local police in an unprecedented messaging campaign that former agency top officials denounced as inappropriate and politically motivated.
Cecilia Mengivar, a sociology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the ICE announcement could raise additional concern among immigrant communities who already fear tightening of immigration laws in recent years. She noted that those who may be subject to the new fast-eviction rules may also be members of mixed-status families, including families with US citizens and green card holders.
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