Judge blocks accelerated immigration deportation rule imposed by Trump administration


Immigration courts must operate with rules prior to March.

Photo: John Moore / Getty Images

In the last days of the president’s government Donald trump A rule was implemented that prevented detained immigrants from having access to a fair trial, which would lead to expedited deportation proceedings, but the measure was prohibited by a federal judge.

The judge’s decision Richard Leon, of the District Court of Washington, DC, responded to a lawsuit filed in early January by five organizations that defend activists.

The rule issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which is the office of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which administers the immigration courts, modified the procedures, especially of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), in order to deprive immigrants of access to a hearing, limit their right to present evidence and select a lawyer.

In other aspects, the rule published on December 16, 2020, it reduced the capacity of the judges in the discretion of the cases, in addition that their sentences could be easily reversed by the BIA.

“The general rule of the Trump Administration illegally denies immigrants a fair hearing in court and impedes the ability of immigrant advocates to represent and defend them,” the advocacy groups said in a joint message. “We are grateful that our lawsuit has led the court to uphold the rule while we continue our legal fight to permanently set it aside.”

The plaintiff coalition is comprised of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., Brooklyn Defense Services (BDS), Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP), HIAS (founded as Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society ) and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), who were represented by NIJC and Democracy Forward.

Judge Leon stopped the implementation of the rule, although he acknowledges that it is under review by the president’s government Joe biden, as part of the institutional administrative procedures.

However, it orders that the previous rule be maintained, after the plaintiffs demonstrate the damage to a fair immigration system.

“They have shown probably irreparable damage without a suspension”, said the judge, while returning to the previous guidelines “will better balance the actions at stake and serve the public interest.”

Judge Leon also opined that 30 days to comment on such a complex rule is insufficient.

“It is probably insufficient (the period) to provide a meaningful opportunity to comment on highly technical and complex regulation”, he pointed.

How it affects immigrants

The rule, which could still be implemented if the EOIR persists in court, affects immigrants with open processes as follows: