ICE Don't Need No Stinking Judges
In yet another brilliant move that has to have its origins in the mind of Stephen Miller, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new rule Monday that will vastly expand its ability to deport undocumented immigrants -- without so much as a hearing. The new regulation will broaden the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to subject people to "expedited removal," a process for instant deportation that currently is used only against a limited number of undocumented migrants. When the rule is published in the Federal Register today, it will immediately go into effect, because we're in an EMERGY, remember? One that Donald Trump created for political purposes, but an emergy all the same.
Currently, only certain undocumented immigrants are subject to "expedited removal": those who have been in the country less than two weeks, and who are caught within 100 miles of the border, usually by the Border Patrol. Unless they request asylum (and can demonstrate a "credible fear" of persecution or torture if they're returned to their home countries), such recent arrivals can generally be deported without a hearing under the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
But DHS has decided to scrap those limits. Instead, ANYONE who doesn't have a pending asylum or other immigration hearing can be placed into expedited removal, anywhere in the country. Expedited removal can be used on anyone who's unable to demonstrate, "to the satisfaction of an immigration officer, that they have been physically present in the United States continuously for the two-year period immediately preceding the date of the determination of inadmissibility." Quick, can YOU prove, right now, with only the documents you have on you, that you have physically been in the US for the past two years? To the "satisfaction" of a federal officer who has instructions to deport you if at all possible?
The new rule claims current law gives DHS the authority to put the new guidelines into effect at the "sole and unreviewable discretion" of the Homeland Security secretary. Or acting secretary, since DHS jefe Kevin McAleenan hasn't even been confirmed by the Senate. The document insists current limits on expedited removal are nothing more than a "discretionary" choice made by previous DHS heads, and that the new rules simply apply the maximum power to eject people allowed by the 1996 law.
The result of the new rule, DHS says,
will be to enhance national security and public safety—while reducing government costs—by facilitating prompt immigration determinations.
Also, the massive expansion of deportations without due process is just plain necessary, DHS says, because didn't you hear Trump at the border a while back? We're full! (And if some "laws" get "broken," he'll pardon you.) And so we need to turn what had been a limited policy into a vast removal operation,
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.
Who would be affected? The Washington Post has some numbers:
Nearly 300,000 of the approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States could be subject to expedited removal, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. The typical undocumented immigrant has lived in the United States for 15 years, according to the Pew Research Center.
The American Civil Liberties Union isn't amused by this move to led federal immigration agents become Judge Dredd. Omar Jadwat, the director of ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement,
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.
The American Immigration Council's Royce Bernstein Murray also said there's a lawsuit a-coming, since law enforcement agencies like DHS shouldn't be allowed "to essentially be both prosecutor and judge." Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, says the new rule reflects a desire to implement a "send-them-all-back policy," and turn ICE into a "show-me-your-papers militia." And somewhere, Stephen Miller smiled, looking like a Halloween decoration.
In practice, the new policy -- if it survives the legal challenges -- is likely to result in deporting a lot of people who shouldn't be subject to expedited removal in the first place, as immigration lawyer David Leopold, a past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, explained to WaPo:
"That is going to apply to a huge swath of people," he said, noting that the rule requires migrants to prove that they have been in the United States for years — a particularly difficult onus when they, by definition, lack legal-immigration documents. "My view is: How are they going to prove it? The burden is on them to prove it. If I can't prove it, I'm done."
That's fine with the Trump crowd, of course, because this is America, where a huge portion of Trump supporters think the word "illegal" strips people of any rights at all. As this stupid rule goes into effect, get ready for more families to get torn apart, more stories of DHS officers run amok, and even US citizens being scooped up and detained for no apparent reason. And with no more troublesome judges getting in the way, maybe Donald Trump can finally get the Deportation Force he's dreamed of so long.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.