WashPost: White House May Give DHS Authority to Deport Illegals Faster – Newsmax
The Trump administration may expand the authority of the Department of Homeland Security to speed the deportation of some illegal immigrants, The Washington Post reported Friday.
The policy under consideration would allow Homeland Security to deport illegals arrested anywhere in country unable to prove that they have lived here continuously for more than 90 days, according to a 13-page internal memo obtained by the Post.
Since 2004, the agency could bypass federal immigration courts only for aliens who have been here illegally for less than two weeks and were arrested within 100 miles of the border.
Two administration officials told the Post Friday that the proposal was under consideration and would not require approval by Congress.
It was “circulated at the White House in May,” according to the report.
“The potential changes would allow DHS to more efficiently use resources to remove persons who have been illegally present for relatively brief periods of time while still observing due-process requirements,” Joanne Talbot, an agency spokeswoman, told the Post.
Talbot said she had not seen the document, though she emphasized that it was a draft and that no final decision had been made by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
“Anyone who is surprised that the administration is considering lawfully expanding the use of expedited removal has not been paying attention,” she said.
“The expansion you describe is explicitly allowed” under federal law.
Immigrant-rights groups slammed the proposal, arguing that more migrants would be stripped of due process and other legal protections.
“This is a radical departure from current policy and practice, which takes one giant step towards implementing Trump’s deportation force across the nation,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, told the Post.
But one Trump administration official countered that the proposed change would have a “deterrent effect” those who come to the U.S. illegally or overstay their visas.
Rights groups, the official told the Post, take advantage of current laws to try to drag out court proceedings “as long as possible.”
The official “spoke on condition of anonymity because no final decisions have been made,” according to the report.
Congress authorized the use of expedited deportations in 1996 for illegals arrested anywhere in the U.S. who could not prove that they had been here two years beforehand, according to the Post.
In 2004, however, the George W. Bush White House specified that such removals could be used for illegals arrested within 100 miles of the border who had lived in the country fewer than 14 days.
In the two immigration executive orders he signed in January, President Donald Trump sought to expand the use of expedited deportations, the Post reports.
According to the 13-page memo, the proposal would “enhance national security and public safety” by ending the “historic backlogs” at the nation’s immigration courts.
Some hearings have been delayed by as long as two years, according to the document.
In addition, the memo said that the proposed expansion would “eliminate incentives not only to enter the country unlawfully but also to attempt to quickly travel into the interior of the United States in an effort to avoid the application of expedited removal.”