Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that it should not take years to deport immigrants who crossed the border without authorization and that Trump is pushing to expedite removals. She said thousands of immigrants are deported monthly without facing an immigration judge under procedures in current law, such as voluntary removal and expedited removal.
“Virtually all Americans agree that it makes no sense that an illegal alien sets one foot on American soil and then they would go through a three-to-five-year judicial process to be removed from the country,” she said. “Just because you don't see a judge doesn’t mean you aren’t receiving due process.”
Trump had tweeted on Sunday that allowing unauthorized border crossers to undergo yearslong court proceedings is “very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years!” He called for policies that allow immigration to be “based on merit” and bar unauthorized border crossers from “invad[ing] our Country.”
“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” he wrote. “Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order.”
On Monday, Trump also opposed the hiring of additional immigration judges in a tweet, saying that the “long and complicated legal process” of immigration proceedings “will always be disfunctional [sic]” and adding that immigrants should be “stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally.”
Immigration attorneys, however, denounced the tweets Monday, saying that such enforcement tactics would undermine the Constitution’s due process protections.
David Shapiro, an assistant clinical professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, cited James Madison in a statement, saying the early president wrote that immigrants must have rights under the Constitution, or else they “might not only be banished, but even capitally punished, without jury or the other incidents to a fair trial.”
“The due process clause applies to everyone in the United States, documented or not, and can’t be disposed of by executive fiat,” Shapiro said.
Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement that Trump’s tweets described “both illegal and unconstitutional” practices that should be denounced by any official who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and the nation’s laws.
Steven Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, tweeted that the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld in the 1982 case Plyer v. Doe that immigrants, even those who reside unlawfully in the U.S., “have long been recognized as 'persons' guaranteed due process of law by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments."
--Editing by Peter Rozovsky.
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