The ACLU and the American Immigration Council are challenging the Trump administration's new rule expanding ICE's power to deport certain undocumented immigrants.
The rule went into effect on July 23. It expanded the use of "expedited removal," which essentially allows immigration officers to arrest and deport those immigrants without a hearing.
The policy previously applied to two groups. First, those who entered the U.S. by land could be subject to expedited removal if they were arrested within 100 miles of that border and had been in the U.S. for less than two weeks. Second, undocumented immigrants anywhere in the U.S. who arrived by sea and had been in the U.S. for less than two years. The administration's rule expands the policy nationwide for all undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for less than two years.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the policy expansion would help reduce the immigration courts' backlog of more than 900,000 cases and also free up bed space in detention centers.
But the human rights groups argue in their complaint filed Tuesday that the new rule illegally violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Immigration and Nationality Act.
They also say some people might have the expedited removal policy wrongly applied to them — such as asylum seekers, migrants who've been in the country for more than two years and even U.S. citizens. The plaintiffs pointed out, "Current procedures place the burden of proof on the individual to show that he or she is not subject to expedited removal, yet fail to provide time or a meaningful opportunity for the individual to do so."
The Migration Policy Institute estimated almost 300,000 undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are at risk of being deported without a hearing under the new rule.