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News > World

Trump Dumps US Rule of Law: No Court Case, Just Send Them Back

  • U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Nevada Republican Party Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., June 23, 2018.

    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Nevada Republican Party Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., June 23, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 June 2018

Trump wants to throw the law out the window when it comes to immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and send "these people...back."

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that "these people" who enter the country, presumably without documents, need to be sent back immediately to where they came from without any judicial process.

US Still Working on Reuniting 2,000 Children with Families

In a tweet rant, Trump said: "We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came."

It was unclear if Trump was advocating a stricter enforcement of a measure that allows expedited removals of undocumented immigrants within 160 km of any U.S. border if they have been in the country for 14 days or less, a policy his administration is employing in greater numbers than previous governments.

Nor did Trump differentiate who "these people" were, undocumented immigrants or asylum seekers, and the White House did not respond to Reuters attempts at clarification.

"The president of the United States has just forcefully proposed the end of political asylum and no due process for migrants," Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, tweeted in response. Court proceedings for those prosecuted can take months and sometimes years when properly done.

"I think he is making it clear, he just doesn't want anybody here. He wants people to just be sent back, no matter what," Jorge Baron, executive director for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, tells Reuters.

Under expedited removal, an immigration official can evaluate an immigrant's claim and reject it with no involvement by an immigration judge or review board.

However, these proceedings generally are conducted at ports of entry, where hundreds of asylum seekers have been turned away over the past month, forcing them to try to enter without documents along the Texas border. Under the administration’s "zero tolerance" policy border patrol was arresting adults for "illegal entry," separating them from their children who were held in separate cages. Previous administrations handled such situations administratively, without prosecution.

Confusing Mandate:

The president has since decreed he would keep in place the zero-tolerance program, but not separate families. However even this has created mass confusion between Washington and officials at the border patrol.

On Thursday the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the Washington Post, "We’re suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units until (we) can accelerate resource capability to allow us to maintain custody." Meanwhile, a department of justice insisted prosecutions would continue.

By law, minors can only be held up to 20 days in detention, prompting many to criticize the president's decree claiming the government would simply try to hold parents and children together, but in jail, indefinitely.

The Law:

In a separate tweet on Sunday, the president again tried to punt the blame on Democrats for his administration's managing the influx of immigrants by separating 2,300 families at the border over the past six weeks: "Democrats, fix the laws. Don’t RESIST. We are doing a far better job than Bush and Obama, but we need strength and security at the Border! Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!"

Sunday’s tweet was a complete turnaround from the president's Friday statement where he said that Republicans should "stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November," in a scare tactic to leverage anti-immigration Republican votes in next fall. This all came amidst an immigration bill going to the house last week that would have allocated significant funds to Trump's border wall.

By Sunday night Trump was more transparent about his stall tactic on any immigration reform: "House Republicans could easily pass a Bill on Strong Border Security but remember, it still has to pass in the Senate, and for that we need 10 Democrat votes, and all they do is RESIST. ... Need more Republicans to WIN in November!"

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