Expanding Deportation Powers for ICE and CBP Officers will Lead to Chaos, Dysfunction

Washington, D.C.Human Rights First today condemned the Trump Administration’s plan to immediately expand the use of expedited removal to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers—rather than immigration judges—to issue deportation orders anywhere in the country to people alleged to not have been admitted or paroled into the United States and who can’t show they have been physically present in the country for two years. The expansion will reportedly go into effect tomorrow, July 23.

“Expedited removal is a highly-flawed process that fails to protect people seeking refuge from return to persecution. The Trump Administration is doubling down on its assault on due process and asylum,” said Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer. “This sweeping move will give ICE and CBP officers the power to bypass immigration courts across the country and order individuals they detain to be summarily deported. This ill-advised expansion will only lead to more chaos, dysfunction, and the return of more refugees to danger. Increasing deportation without due process will also likely lead to the summary expulsion of people who have been in the country for many years, simply because they are not carrying proof of their years of residence when immigration officers take them into custody.” 

Expedited removal is a summary procedure that allows an immigration officer to issue a deportation order—a power previously entrusted to immigration judges. The bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in a series of reports documented the ways in which expedited removal fails to protect people seeking refuge from return to their countries of persecution.

Human Rights First, in partnership with more than a dozen organizations with refugee and regional human rights expertise, recently released a new blueprint offering concrete steps to manage the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border and to address the damage the Trump Administration’s mismanagement of it has caused.


Published on July 22, 2019


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