ICE Officers Will Reportedly Soon Have The Powers Of Both A ‘Prosecutor’ And ‘Judge’ When Deporting Immigrants

A flag flies at the Metropolitan Detention Center prison as mass arrests by federal immigration authorities, as ordered by the Trump administration, were supposed to begin in major cities across the nation on July 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
David McNew / Getty Images

Business Insider reports that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is expanding its powers. According to a notice published to the Federal Register, the agency will be expanding its use of the “expedited removal” deportation program.

The program currently allows ICE agents to fast-track the deportation of immigrants that entered the U.S. within the past 14 days ⁠and are within 100 miles of a coastline or border without a hearing. But the new changes will allow expedited removal for immigrants that have been in the U.S. for less than two years. In addition, it’s not the responsibility of ICE to prove that the immigrants have lived in the U.S. for less than two years ⁠— the burden is placed on immigrants to prove that they’ve lived in the U.S. more than two years.

“Perhaps the biggest impact of this new [regulation] will be the requirement that immigrants ‘affirmatively show’ & convince an immigration officer that they have been here for more than 2 years,” Sarah Price, an immigration attorney and policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said on Twitter.

“Living in the shadows, unauthorized immigrants strive to exist without a document trail. Quickly convincing an immigration officer that they have been here for longer than 2 years will not be an easy task for many,” she added.

According to the American Immigration Council (AIC), which plans to sue President Trump’s administration along with the American Civil Liberties Union, fast-tracked immigration essentially “permits the immigration officer to serve both as prosecutor (charged with enforcing the law) and judge (rendering a final decision on the case).”

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Immigration is a hot-button issue in the midst of the 2020 presidential race. Trump recently told “The Squad” of four progressive congresswomen of color ⁠— Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York ⁠— to “go back” to their countries during a reported Twitter attack.

Per The Inquisitr, Trump has been criticized for his comments, but some, such as Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, have taken his side. During the opening monologue of Justice with Judge Jeanine, Pirro echoed Trump and attacked the congresswomen. She claims that the quartet are “radical socialists” and said they want to “punish success” and “destroy capitalism.”

Pirro also used her monologue to accuse “The Squad” of wanting to abolish ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She singled out Ocasio-Cortez, who proposed breaking up the Department of Homeland Security, which was established in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Per Slate, then-President George W. Bush initially opposed the idea.