In light of the record backlog in immigration courts in 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly signed an order Monday that will expedite deportation proceedings for illegal aliens by bypassing the courts.
Illegal aliens who have been in the U.S. less than two years may be deported without a court hearing before a judge.
Immigration policy in the U.S. changed significantly Monday when Kelly signed two memos ordering the immediate construction of a border wall, and expanding the number of local police who will enforce immigration law.
Pro-immigration activists and Democratic politicians were quick to condemn the orders. “By targeting those without serious convictions, those who have merely been charged with offenses, or those recent arrivals — including unaccompanied children — who have posed no safety threat to our neighborhoods, the President has chosen the politics of division over our nation’s safety,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed in a statement on Tuesday.
Conversely, Jessica Vaughn, policy director for the Center for Immigration Studies said that the memos are a “welcome move,” according to Newsweek.
One of the more contentious of Kelly’s policy directives allows for the immediate deportation of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, with the exception of those protected under President Obama’s executive amnesty plan.
“It is in the national interest to detain and expeditiously remove from the United States aliens apprehended at the border, who have been ordered removed after consideration and denial of their claims for relief or protection,” Kelly wrote.
Under existing immigration law, an immigration officer is authorized to order the deportation of an illegal immigrant without a court hearing, unless the immigrant is an unaccompanied child or is seeking asylum.
In one memo, Kelly broadens this authority, known as “expedited removal provisions,” to include illegal immigrants who have not been in the U.S. for two years.
Secretary Kelly utilized the U.S. immigration courts’ 2016 record backlog to justify his decision. By the end of last year, the courts had 533,909 pending cases, more than double the 223,809 awaiting when President Obama took office in 2009.
“This unacceptable delay affords removable aliens with no plausible claim for relief to remain unlawfully in the United States for many years,” Kelly wrote.
Executive Director of the Center For Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian, told The Daily Caller, “Congress gave the executive this wide ‘expedited removal’ authority in the 1996 immigration law, which keeps cases out of the immigration courts, but all the administrations since then have applied it very narrowly. So this simply represents the executive using this congressionally-granted authority to its full extent.”
H/T: The Daily Caller
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