The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Thursday they would suspend a policy that allowed ICE to deport undocumented people without first seeing a judge.
The Trump administration previously expanded the expedited removal policy in 2019. At the time, immediate deportation was only used in cases that occurred at or near the border. The changes to the DHS rule allowed ICE to immediately deport any noncitizens in the country who could not produce proof that they had continuously resided in the US for two years or more.
Several immigration advocacy organizations have challenged the rule claiming that its immediate implementation violated the Administrative Procedure Act’s public notice and comment requirement. They also raised a Fifth Amendment Due Process claim, citing the lack of “meaningful opportunity and process to contest removal before they are deported.” A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction which was later lifted, at which point ICE released guidance detailing how the policy should be carried out.
Upon taking office, the Biden administration announced a review of the DHS immigration policies. But little information has since been released about the status of existing practices while the department was conducting the review.
The comment suspending the policy came in response to an inquiry by journalists who sought an update on the current administration’s use of this expedited removal. An official from DHS told BuzzFeed reporters that:
DHS’s review of expanded expedited removal is ongoing. This particular application of expedited removal was used in an exceedingly small number of cases under the Biden Administration and will not be used moving forward until the Department’s review is completed.