ACLU promises lawsuit over expedited immigrant removal expansion

ACLU promises lawsuit over expedited immigrant removal expansion
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday promised to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration's proposed expansion of expedited immigrant removal authority.

“Under this unlawful plan, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court," Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU, said in a statement.

"We will sue to end this policy quickly.”

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier Monday posted a notice of the shift set to go into effect Tuesday.

Under current expedited removal authority, low-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers can deport immigrants within 100 miles of the border who have been in the U.S. for less than two weeks without a hearing before an immigration judge.

With the proposed expansion, any immigrant in the U.S. — more or less than 100 miles from the border — could face expedited removal if they cannot prove continuous residence in the country longer than two years.

The DHS said in the notice the change will "enhance national security and public safety — while reducing government cost — by facilitating prompt immigration determinations."

Jennifer Chang Newell, the managing attorney at the California Office of the Immigrants’ Right Project, told The Hill that the expedited removal system itself is "flawed" and that "numerous citizens have been deported unfairly" under the practice.

Expansion of that system “denies immigrants due process,” Newell added.

The move comes amid the Trump administration's ongoing crackdown on illegal immigration. The president has threatened mass deportation operations, but those have failed to materialize.

—Updated at 12:52 p.m.