“Fast-Track” Deportation Threatens Due Process

Everyone’s entitled to their day in court—except illegal immigrants, apparently.

At least, that’s the Trump administration’s position, in light of its recent expansion of the “fast-track” deportation process. The Associated Press reports that in an attempt to address the crisis on our southern border, immigration authorities have extended the “expedited removal” process to apply to millions more immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. This process allows for the deportation of these immigrants without any appearance before an immigration judge, a shortcut previously reserved for illegal immigrants who had just crossed the border.

Now, it will apply to any illegal immigrant who has spent less than two years in the country, which potentially includes millions who live, work, and even have children in America. While immigration enforcement is important and the border crisis in dire need of a solution, this is a misstep from the Trump administration. It threatens the right to due process that all people ought to enjoy.

Yet Trump officials

expect that the full use of expedited removal statutory authority will strengthen national security, diminish the number of illegal entries, and otherwise ensure the prompt removal of aliens apprehended in the United States.

Yes, there’s a backlog in our immigration courts that’s interfering with proper, timely immigration enforcement, but the solution there is to expand the number of immigration judges and expedite the judicial process, not skip it entirely.

Of course, expedited removal does make sense for recent border crossers. If immigration officers catch some sneak