The Trump administration is dangerously expanding current policy that allows Immigration and Customs mass deportation agents to quickly sweep up and deport recently arrived undocumented immigrants, , and without giving them a chance to go in front of a judge to plead their case.
Previously, “expedited removal” only applied to people who crossed the border without authorization within the previous two weeks and were within 100 miles of the border. Those migrants do not have the ability to go in front of a judge. “The new measure will apply to the entire country,” BuzzFeed News reports, and is expanding from 14 days to two years. This is “Papers, please” on steroids—and the effects will be devastating.
“Imagine you’ve lived in the US for three years,” immigration attorney Aaron Reichlin-Melnick. “You’re arrested by ICE on your way to work, and an ICE officer tells you that unless you prove to him—right here, right now—that you’ve lived here for more than two years, you’re on the next plane out.”
How many people carry those kinds of documents? How many times have you stepped out and realized you forgot your ID, but said it’ll be fine because you’ll be back home in an hour? We know who will be targeted, and it won’t be people who look like the Trumps: “By expanding ER in this way,” immigration attorney Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, “more noncitizens (or people who look like them) living peacefully in the U.S. will be targeted for removal without a day in court.”
“Under this unlawful plan,” Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union said, “immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court.” The ACLU and others a lawsuit over another change that stomps on the right to asylum for many Central Americans and others—and they’re promising more legal action over this latest move. “We will sue to end this policy quickly,” Jadwat said.
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