BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today announced her office has filed a multistate action along with 17 other attorneys general opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to expand a deportation process that could harm thousands of immigrants, families, and communities across the country.
In the brief, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the attorneys general support the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction suspending the Department of Homeland Security’s significant expansion of a deportation process known as “expedited removal.”
This expansion would allow low-level immigration officers to deport anyone apprehended anywhere in the U.S. who cannot show that they are lawfully in the country, have been in the country continuously for at least two years, or have a credible fear of persecution if deported. Previously, for immigrants who arrived in the United States by land, expedited removal was limited to people apprehended within 100 miles of the border and who could not demonstrate continuous presence in the country for 14 days. The proposed expansion would vastly increase the number of people subject to expedited removal.
“This is yet another illegal and dangerous immigration policy from the Trump Administration,” said AG Healey. “Expedited removal is fraught with potential for error and abuse, and we urge the court to suspend its expansion to prevent the widespread harm it could cause to immigrants and their families.”
The states argue that expanding expedited removal substantially increases the risk that people will be wrongfully deported. Expedited removal eliminates protections present in formal immigration hearings, leaving individuals without access to counsel, a hearing before a judge, or the opportunity to apply for relief from deportation.
According to Healey, one in five workers in Massachusetts is an immigrant and undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $185 million in taxes each year, and 34,000 undocumented parents are raising U.S. citizen children.
Today’s brief was led by California and joined by attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.