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Earlier today, immigration experts and advocates gathered on a press call to discuss the Trump administration’s latest attack on immigrants: expanding expedited removals. In doing so, the administration threatens sameday deportation for anyone who cannot immediately show they have been here continuously for two years without a hearing, oversight, review or appeal. It threatens to trigger massive racial profiling and roundups for immigrants and citizens in the U.S.
Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said, “The Trump administration is moving forward with a plan to convert ICE into a “show me your papers” militia that would racially profile our communities, including U.S. citizens. This callous and unlawful move provides the same immigration officers who have made racist comments and posted deplorable photoshopped images about our legislators with broad and unchecked authority to serve as judge, jury, and deporter. We will not let Trump’s racial profiling militia detain and deport immigrants without a fair process to make sure they are not being sent into imminent danger. The American public is fed up with Trump’s dog whistles and race baiting. We need common sense solutions rather than more of his family separation policies.”
Anand Balakrishnan, Senior Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said, “Under the new policy, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less process than we get in traffic court. Already, even U.S. citizens have been mistakenly deported under expedited removal. Its expansion to every part of the country, and to immigrants residing in our communities, is illegal, and we will challenge it in court.”
Royce Bernstein Murray, Managing Director of Programs, American Immigration Council, said, “This dramatic expansion of fast-track deportations gives immigration officials unchecked authority to apprehend and order deported anyone anywhere in the United States who cannot swiftly prove they have lawful status or have been in the country for two years or more. This type of summary removal prevents people from getting a fair day in court or access to an attorney, increasing the risk of deporting vulnerable individuals to serious harm or death. It also puts U.S. citizens at much-heightened risk of arrest, detention, and possible deportation; a trend we have already begun to document under the Trump administration. We will stand idly by while this new policy terrorizes a nation; the government will see us in court.”
Ur Jaddou, Director, DHS Watch and former USCIS Chief Counsel, said, “This major expansion of expedited removal will not only have detrimental consequences for undocumented individuals who may otherwise remain lawfully in the U.S., such as an undocumented spouse of a U.S. citizen or an undocumented victim of trafficking or domestic violence. It will ensnare U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other lawfully present individuals who cannot swiftly prove their lawful status to the satisfaction of an ICE officer. Under this notice, if a U.S. citizen anywhere in the country finds themselves in the middle of an ICE raid or facing an ICE officer asking for papers, they could be detained and even ordered removed until they can prove their lawful status. In other words, ICE could claim a U.S. citizen is an alien until the U.S. citizen proves otherwise, all while being detained.”
David Leopold, Counsel to DHS Watch, Chair of Immigration at Ulmer & Berne and former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said, “This expansion puts another weapon in the arsenal of bad-actor employers across the country. For the people who are abusing undocumented workers, this gives them a tool to say, ‘you want to complain about treatment? Well go ahead and complain. I’m going to call ICE and tell them you’ve only been here 6 months.’ And among the bad actor employers is Donald Trump at his golf clubs. There is a labor standards aspect to all this that needs to be addressed. You know, we also have to remember that in the US, 8.2 million citizens live with at least one undocumented member of their family. So the collateral effect of this is huge. And what are we doing here? How are people supposed to prepare for this? This designation contains nothing about how a lawful permanent resident should prepare. Should they be carrying passports and immigration papers at all times? How do we answer the question ‘papers please?’ We don’t know.”