04 Apr 2018 Trump wants to speed up deportations
Since becoming president, Donald Trump has made several significant changes to make it easier for the government to deport more people. In fact, when he originally announced he was running for president, he stated that there were over 11,000,000 people in the U.S. illegally, and he wanted to deport them all.
Among the changes he has implemented or is proposing are:
- Hiring more immigration judges, to reduce the backlog of cases, and deport people faster.
- Establishing quotas on the number of deportation cases handled by immigration judges as part of their performance evaluation. The more cases they handle, the better their evaluation. So, many judges may feel the need to rush cases through, resulting in a person being denied a chance to be heard or their case properly presented, especially if they are representing themselves.
- Restricting the use of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutorial discretion is where the ICE attorneys have the ability or discretion to prioritize certain cases, and to leave other people alone, who may be deportable, but do not pose a threat to society. Before Trump was elected, enforcement priorities included criminals, terrorists, or those who pose a threat to public safety. Now, it seems everyone is considered an enforcement priority if they are simply removable. This could include someone who merely overstayed, had a prior removal order (from an old asylum case) or even a green card holder with a minor crime.
- Increasing the budget for immigration enforcement to over $20,000,000,000. This is more money than the funding for all other Federal law enforcement agencies combined. This includes the FBI, U.S. marshals, etc.
- Eliminating administrative closure and reopening previously closed cases to complete deportation\ removal. Administrative closure and motions to terminate remove cases from a court’s docket and are used as a means of increasing court efficiency, reducing backlogs, allowing courts and courtrooms to focus on serious cases, such as felons, terrorists, and those who pose a threat to society. Previously, ICE attorneys would often agree to admin close cases that were not considered enforcement priorities. Now, under the Trump administration, they have been instructed to oppose motions to terminate and admin closure. In addition, the Trump administration wants cases that were previously admin closed to be reopened and recalendar, to resume a person’s deportation, even though they had been previously found eligible for prosecutorial discretion, or even if they may have a form of relief that might be soon available (such as a U.S. citizen child just about to turn 21 years of age to petition them, or they are already under petition and just waiting for the approval of the petition, etc.). If you had a deportation\ removal case that was admin closed, don’t be surprised if the ICE attorneys will now seek to reopen your case and resume your deportation.
I know that so many people are afraid and anxious about their future in America. Even if they’re otherwise “law abiding” and pay taxes, but have simply overstayed, they are now considered enforcement priorities. What should you do?
As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) states, “Data shows detained immigrants who have legal counsel are ten times more likely to be granted asylum or other relief from the court. Forcing immigrants to move forward without an attorney eliminates any meaningful chance at a fair day in court. We should not sacrifice due process for speed and make an already rushed deportation process even more unfair.” Therefore, if you have immigration issues, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney before ICE knocks at your door.
Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories”, endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.
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