The agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) will begin to apply a policy that allows them to quickly arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for less than two years, the digital media BuzzFeed reported.
The outlet had access to several internal emails and agency documents indicating that ICE agents would begin executing the new guide that allows them to expel immigrants from the country expeditiously without having to see an immigration judge.
One of the emails indicates that ICE attorneys will initially review all cases in which deportation officers intend to use the new policy before immigrants are expedited deportation from the country.
The internal message sent on behalf of ICE’s chief attorney, Michael Davis, says that staff must confirm that the undocumented immigrant meets the requirements of this policy, and follow the implementation guidance.
The policy, which is known less than a month before the presidential elections on November 3, is not entirely new. The Administration of President Donald Trump had tried to impose the same rule in 2019.
The measure expands a guideline applied in border areas since 2004 that allows for the expedited removal of immigrants detained within the first 100 miles of a land border or within 14 days of an illegal crossing. The rule is generally enforced by Border Patrol agents.
A lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in conjunction with the American Immigration Council, filed in August 2019, argued that Trump’s measure was “illegal” because it gave ICE officers the authority to indiscriminately deport anyone without having the right to a hearing or representation by an attorney.
Although the rule was blocked by a federal judge, the government appealed and got the District of Columbia Court of Appeals to lift the restriction last June, opening the door for it to apply nationwide.
The emails highlight that ICE officers have discretion over whether to apply expedited removal, and can decide in cases where an immigrant has “mental competence” issues, is the sole caregiver for a US citizen or child, has any possibility of obtaining legal status, or is a victim or a witness of a crime, among other exceptions, highlights Buzzfeed.
In recent weeks, ICE has reinforced actions by announcing operations aimed at “sanctuary” cities, especially.
This Wednesday, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, announced from Washington the arrest of 128 undocumented immigrants in an operation carried out in the last week of September in California.
The operation “Operation Rise” was developed mainly in the areas of Los Angeles and San Diego, two of the main urban centers with the largest population of immigrants in California, which has declared a sanctuary for the undocumented and, therefore, limits its collaboration with federal immigration agencies.
It was reported the arrest of the Mexican immigrant Servando Bermúdez, on September 30, by ICE. According to statements given to the newspaper, the immigrant was deported the same day of his arrest to Tijuana, Mexico, despite having lived in the United States since 2003, and is the father of two American children. The immigrant had a pending deportation order.