- Rule allowed deportation without hearings for two years after entry
- 'Expedited removal' had previously applied for only two weeks
(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Friday said it is rescinding a Trump administration rule that significantly expanded a sped-up process for deporting people who enter the U.S. illegally without a hearing in immigration court.
DHS in a notice published in the Federal Register said the "expedited removal" process is best focused on people who recently entered the U.S. and remain in close proximity to the border, rather than those targeted by Trump's sweeping 2019 expansion, who have been in the country longer and developed ties to their communities.
"Additionally, as the use of expanded expedited removal would involve complex new challenges for the (DHS) workforce, it would come with increased risk of otherwise avoidable legal challenges to the agency's enforcement actions," the department said.
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides for the expedited removal of "any or all" non-citizens "arriving in the United States" illegally.
DHS in the 2019 rule interpreted the law broadly, saying expedited removal could be applied to individuals anywhere in the United States who had been in the country for up to two years.
Previously, individuals were subject to expedited removal only within 100 miles of the U.S. border and within 14 days of their date of entry.
A federal judge blocked the Trump-era rule, but it was revived in 2020 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The court said federal law gives DHS wide latitude in determining the proper scope of expedited removal.
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