The Trump administration is planning to expand a procedure to speed up deportations to include undocumented immigrants anywhere in the US who cannot prove they’ve lived in the US continuously for two years or more.
The change casts a wider net of undocumented immigrants subject to the fast-track deportation procedure known as “expedited removal,” which allows immigration authorities to remove an individual without a hearing before an immigration judge.
In doing so, the administration would be provided greater latitude in quickly deporting undocumented immigrants.
Previously, undocumented immigrants who were caught within 100 miles of a land border and within 14 days of arrival were subject to the procedure.
The notice, filed in the Federal Register Monday, drastically changes the designation of expedited removal to include undocumented immigrants nationwide who can’t prove they’ve been in the country continuously for two years. It would therefore apply to thousands more people who recently arrived to the US and are living around the country.
As of June, Border Patrol has arrested nearly 700,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border this fiscal year, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
The latest move by the administration to crack down on illegal immigration stems from a 2017 Department of Homeland Security memo from then-Secretary John Kelly that included the expansion of expedited removal as part of the President’s “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies.”
The American Civil Liberties Union said Monday it would challenge the plan in court.
“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,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, in a statement.
This story has been updated.