Two civil rights groups on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s proposed plan to fast track deportations.
The rule allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expand its expedited immigrant removal authority took effect July 23.
Previously, expedited removal authority allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to 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.
Under the new rule, any immigrant in the U.S. — even if more than 100 miles from the border — could face expedited removal if they cannot prove continuous residence in the country longer than two years.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Immigration Council and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP filed the complaint, which seeks immediate relief from the rule, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
“Hundreds of thousands of people living anywhere in the U.S. are at risk of being separated from their families and expelled from the country without any recourse,” Anand Balakrishnan, an attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “This is a dramatic — and illegal — escalation in the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrant communities.”
The case was filed on behalf of immigrant organizations Make the Road New York, LUPE (La Union del Pueblo Entero) and We Count!
The DHS said in the original notice that the change will “enhance national security and public safety — while reducing government cost — by facilitating prompt immigration determinations.”
The rule is the latest in a series of efforts by the Trump administration to crack down on illegal immigration. President Trump has also threatened mass deportation operations.