Washington, DC-In a 7-2 majority opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court authorized the expedited removal of people requesting asylum without the possibility of judicial review. Expedited removal, enacted in the anti-immigrant federal legislation passed in 1996, shortens the deportation process into a few weeks and undermines immigrants’ access to due process. The expedited removal process excludes key features of due process - such as the right to a hearing before an immigration judge or offering immigrants the right to a lawyer, and typically only a small number of recently arrived immigrants could be subjected to expedited removal in the U.S. However, the Trump Administration has sought to vastly expand Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) power to use the process, and the Supreme Court’s decision has now allowed the Administration to do so.
In response to the ruling, Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement.
“Unfortunately, the courts have just given ICE the green light to further terrorize immigrants at home, in the streets and in their communities. By stripping asylum seekers of their day in court, this ruling robs immigrants of their right to due process and completely flouts U.S. adherence to international law. This should be seen for what it truly is - the President being completely overwhelmed by his failures to address a global pandemic and economic recession and panicked by abysmal poll numbers, and again trying to double down on his xenophobic and racist agenda. The games must end. We won’t let this flailing president use our communities as campaign fodder.”
Within the first few weeks of his administration, Trump issued the infamous Muslim ban, which blocked entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries and halted refugees from being admitted for at least 120 days. Over the past few months, the White House implemented more than a dozen changes to the immigration system as a result of the coronavirus pandemic: immigration hearings have been postponed, refugee admissions put on pause and migrants, including children, have largely been barred from entering the United States. On June 15, a 30-day public comment period began regarding the Trump administration’s 161-page draft regulation that raises the standard of proof for migrants hoping to obtain asylum and allows immigration judges to deny applications for protection without giving migrants an opportunity to present their case in court. On June 22, President Trump issued an executive order temporarily preventing foreign nationals from entering the U.S. with H1B, L-1, H2B, or J-1 status. The proclamation impacts foreign nationals who are not currently in the U.S., and some categories of foreign nationals (e.g., healthcare workers) would be exempt from the executive order.