16 July, 2017
The Trump administration is weighing a proposal to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expanded powers to deport illegal immigrants without first obtaining an order of removal from an immigration judge.
The internal DHS memo states that the policy it's considering "will enhance national security and public safety" by relieving the nation's immigration courts of "historic backlogs" that have cause hearings to be delayed for more than two years, The Washington Post reported. Since taking office, he's sought to create a "deportation force" by adding more border patrol agents and involving local police departments in immigration enforcement.
A memo, obtained by the Post and described as a draft by a DHS spokeswoman, would allow the agency to circumvent immigrations courts for the removal of immigrants apprehended anywhere in the country and who can not prove that they've been in the USA for more than 90 days.
Citing two administration officials, the Post said the new proposal, which would not require congressional approval, is under review.
Talbot says the DHS memo simply recommends that the Trump administration avail itself of existing immigration enforcement authority. He pledged to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
The new guidelines, if enacted, would represent a major expansion of the agency's authority to speed up deportations under President Trump, who has made border security a top priority. Immigrants' rights advocates also say the change would strip away due process rights and target people seeking asylum or another form of legal status.
Since 2004, the department has been authorized to bypass immigration courts only for those who have lived in the U.S. illegally for less than two weeks and have been apprehended within 100 miles of the border. The current 100-mile, 2-week policy was later put in place by the George W. Bush administration in 2004, and then maintained by the Obama administration.
The DHS memo says greater expedited removal authority "will enhance national security and public safety" begin to clear the "historic backlogs" at USA immigration courts.