A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can move forward with a measure to more quickly deport undocumented immigrants although it faces legal challenges.
The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a preliminary injunction blocking the administration from expanding the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to conduct expedited removals.
The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that a group of non-profits had legal standing to bring a lawsuit challenging the action but immigration law that grants broad authority to the Department of Homeland Security would make the case unlikely to succeed.
“There could hardly be a more definitive expression of congressional intent to leave the decision about the scope of expedited removal, within statutory bounds, to the Secretary’s independent judgment,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote.
Judge Neomi Rao issued a dissent, stating that the lawsuit by the non-profit groups should have been dismissed.
Under the previous expedited removal policy, immigration officials were permitted to deport unauthorized immigrants who entered the United States by sea up to two years after arrival or immigrants who arrived by land and were captured within 100 miles of the border within two weeks without a hearing before an immigration judge.
The Department of Homeland Security published an order in the Federal Register in July that would expand the policy to make any undocumented immigrants who entered the United States by land or sea eligible for expedited removal if they cannot prove they have been physically present in the United States for at least two years.
Immigration groups Make the Road New York, La Union Del Pueblo Entero and We County! filed a lawsuit in August stating that the expansion of the expedited removal process, which they described as “rife with errors,” would result in violations of individuals’ legal rights.
Make the Road New York said it would continue to fight to block the policy.
“While we applaud the court’s finding that this change is reviewable, we strongly reject its allowing the policy take effect. We will continue to fight against Trump’s illegal fast-track deportation policy,” the organization said.
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