The Department of Homeland Security plans to expand “expedited removal” proceedings for immigrants, potentially denying due process to hundreds of thousands of undocumented people living in the U.S. The process would allow for removals without a hearing before an immigration judge and would be used against immigrants who have entered the country within the past two years. In addition, the individuals targeted could be asked to prove they have been in the U.S. continuously for more than two years to avoid deportation. The process has previously been reserved for immigrants who had only been in the U.S. for two weeks or less and who had been apprehended within 100 miles of the border.
Legal experts and immigrant rights advocates warn “expedited removal” is already a flawed practice that is regularly abused, putting people with strong asylum claims in danger. The Migration Policy Institute estimates nearly 300,000 people could be subject to expedited removal under the new policy, which is set to go into effect immediately. The ACLU and the American Immigration Council have said they will sue. Omar Jadwat of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project said, “Under this unlawful plan, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court.”