A federal judge has handed the Trump administration a setback in their bid to quickly deport illegal immigrants. U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued a preliminary injunction on a policy change made by the Department of Homeland Security that expanded the use of "expedited removal" procedures.
Under the new rule, which was passed in July, officials could use the procedures to deport undocumented immigrants who were unable to prove they had been in the U.S. continuously for at least two years without an immigration hearing. Before the rule was expanded, officials could only deport immigrants without due process if they were detained within 100 miles of the border. Under the new rule, the expedited removal procedures could be used against anybody, regardless of where they were arrested.
Judge Jackson called the rule change "arbitrary and capricious" and wrote that the DHS did not follow the correct decision-making procedures when passing the rule.
"Put in common parlance, if a policy decision that an agency makes is of sufficient consequence that it qualifies as an agency rule, then arbitrariness in deciding the contours of that rule — e.g., decision making by Ouija board or dart board, rock/paper/scissors, or even the Magic 8 Ball — simply will not do," Jackson wrote. "There are well-established legal constraints on the manner in which an agency exercises its discretion to make discretionary policy decisions, and there are also legally established consequences if an agency does not adhere to these procedural requirements when it determines the policies that it imposes."
The ruling was handed down a few hours after another federal judge blocked the administration from indefinitely detaining children and their families while their immigration cases made their way through the courts.
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