Judge Block Administration Expedited Removal of Immigrants

On Saturday, September 28, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued a preliminary injunction on the Trump Administration’s attempt to expand its use of expedited removals beyond just the 100-mile U.S. border. The policy change was announced in July and was to start on July 23, 2019, but the Administration took action without a regulatory process. In her ruling, Judge Jackson said:

“There are well-established legal constraints on the manner in which an agency exercises its discretion to make discretionary policy decisions, and there are also legally established consequences if an agency does not adhere to these procedural requirements when it determines the policies that it imposes.”

The expedited removal process allows the removal of an undocumented immigrant without access to an attorney or an immigration court within two weeks if they cross into the U.S. by land and are arrested within 100 miles of the border. The Trump Administration expanded the process to include undocumented immigrants who couldn’t prove they had been in the U.S. continuously for two years or more. It applied to any location in the U.S., not just the border. The injunction holds until the Court completes its hearing on the matter.

In conclusion the Judge said, “The Court’s preliminary injunction treats the expanded expedited removal rule…void. She added, Plaintiffs’ members [undocumented immigrants] would be irreparably harmed…both the public interest and the balance of the harms weigh in favor of the issuance of a preliminary injunction.”

About the Author:

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

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