By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) A new rule implemented by the Trump administration will dramatically empower the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and begin clearing the massive backlog of cases waiting to be adjudicated by immigration courts.
The rule, published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, expands and speeds the deportation of illegal aliens by stripping away court oversight, thereby enabling ICE and other immigration authorities to remove migrants in days instead of months or years, Reuters reported.
The rule applies “expedited removal” for the majority of people who entered the U.S. illegally unless they can provide proof they have been living in the country for at least two years.
According to legal experts, it’s a very dramatic expansion of a program already in existence along the U.S.-Mexico border that eliminates most reviews by immigration courts, and generally without access to an attorney.
NPR elaborated on the difference between the existing policy and the new rule changes:
Currently, undocumented immigrants who cross into the U.S. by land can be deported without an immigration hearing if they are arrested within 100 miles of the border during the first 14 days after their arrival. Those who arrive by sea can be deported without legal proceedings if they are unable to prove they have been living in the U.S. for two years or more.
But under the latest proposal, all geographical limitations would be lifted and rapid removal proceedings would be applied to all undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for less than two years.
The move is also designed to mitigate a massive court backlog of immigration cases “and will reduce the significant costs to the government associated with full removal proceedings before an immigration judge.” DHS said that as of June there were 909,034 pending immigration cases. It estimates the average removal proceeding for an undocumented immigrant not being held in detention “has been pending for more than two years before an immigration judge.”
The Department of Homeland Security said that the move will also eliminate costs greatly will improving national security and public safety:
The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety—while reducing government costs—by facilitating prompt immigration determinations.
In particular, the New Designation will enable DHS to address more effectively and efficiently the large volume of aliens who are present in the United States unlawfully, without having been admitted or paroled into the United States, and ensure the prompt removal from the United States of those not entitled to enter, remain, or be provided relief or protection from removal.
“The new designation adds one more tool for DHS—utilizing specific authority from Congress—to confront the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis on the Southwest border and throughout the country,” said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan.
“We are past the breaking point and must take all appropriate action to enforce the law, along the U.S. borders and within the country’s interior. This designation makes it clear that if you have no legal right to be here, we will remove you.”
In a statement, DHS also noted that the authority for the expansion has already been congressionally approved:
The Immigration and Nationality Act gives the Acting Secretary “sole and unreviewable discretion” to designate certain aliens as subject to expedited removal pursuant to a 1996 law. This authority has been used many times, including in a 2002 notice that applied the full scope of expedited removal to certain aliens encountered anywhere in the United States for up to two years after arrival by sea.
The new designation harmonizes expedited removal for aliens arriving by land with the longstanding process for aliens arriving by sea, and applies to certain aliens encountered between 14 days and two years of entry within 100 miles of the border, or within two years of entry anywhere in the United States.
The new designation is separate from, but complements, a 2004 designation that applies to aliens encountered within 14 days of entry and within 100 miles of the border.
Will the new rule be challenged in court? Probably, and more than likely the Left-wing organizations that challenge the ruling will cherry-pick a judicial activist court who will rule, somehow, that the Trump administration is violating the law — which means delays and further immigration backlogs.
That said, the administration will likely win at the Supreme Court level, as it has in previous legal battles involving the Executive Branch’s immigration policymaking authority. So this is all necessary, as it establishes legal precedent that lower courts must follow.
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