Eighteen attorneys general have filed an amicus brief challenging a new Department of Homeland Security expansion of expedited removal of undocumented immigrants. The new rule, released in July, allows for any undocumented immigrant who cannot show that he or she has been in the United States at least two years to be removed from the United States without access to an immigration court. Under the prior system, only immigrants in the United States for less than two weeks who were caught within 100 miles of the border were subject to expedited removal. The signers of the amicus brief support a preliminary injunction to bar implementation while the court case is proceeding. The American Civil Liberties Union also has filed a federal lawsuit.
The attorneys general are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, in addition to Washington, DC. New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, released a statement noting that the new policy “significantly increases the risk that people will be erroneously deported” and that for those in proceedings, “virtually eliminates access to the protections afforded during formal immigration hearings.” The statement notes that because of the policy, mixed-status households may be separated with little or no time to prepare and that immigrants may be “even less likely to report crime or exploitation or seek needed medical care, negatively affecting both public safety and health.” The statement also notes that the policy “could have a substantial economic impact on New York and other states.”