“They have taken the travel restrictions regarding COVID and have gone too far,” Florida Rep. Darren Soto said.
A US Court of Appeals has given more power to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and taken constitutional rights away from undocumented immigrants.
ICE agents now have the right to detain undocumented immigrants and deport them without due process—their right to a trial—if they cannot prove they have been in the US for more than two years, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed.
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This new policy—deportation without a trial—was initially presented in 2019 by the Trump administration. However, a federal court judge blocked the policy. In June, that changed when a US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit lifted the preliminary injunction. It should be noted that undocumented immigrants that live in the US have the right to some protections under the US Constitution, including the right to freedom of speech and religion, the right to be treated fairly, and the right to privacy. One of those constitutional rights is the right to due process.
In a 1903 case called Yamataya v. Fisher, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Immigration and Naturalization Service could not deport someone without a hearing that meets constitutional due process standards, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
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Earlier this year, the Trump administration approved the deportation of undocumented immigrants without access to a trial under Title 42, which deals with Public Health and Welfare due to COVID-19. This new policy uses that same legality, and if the undocumented immigrants cannot prove they have lived in the US for at least two years, they will be deported.
“They have taken the travel restrictions regarding COVID and have gone too far,” Florida Rep. Darren Soto said in an interview with The Americano. “Due process applies to everyone whether they are Americans or whether they are immigrants, so deporting them without a trial is unconstitutional.”
He added that this new immigration policy further executes President Donald Trump’s anti-Latino and anti-immigration agenda.
Fernando García, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), agrees with Rep. Soto and goes further to say that the “Trump administration doesn’t believe immigrants deserve any rights” and that these policies are a “right-wing racist approach to immigration.” García said since Trump was elected, undocumented immigrants have been living in the shadows, and this new policy will continue to instill fear in their lives despite that they are sustaining the country as essential workers.
“These are the people that are essential to us, farmworkers,” García said. “They go and pick up our food, they pick up the tomatoes, the onions, and cucumbers that you have in your kitchen, and there’s not a single record of many of them doing that, but they are doing that job. They are the ones cleaning your home, taking care of your families, the ones that do construction work. They are essential workers. They are the ones sustaining the economy right now.”
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Both García and Rep. Soto emphasized that undocumented immigrants should remember they have rights when detained.
For more information on how to best protect yourself if detained by ICE, click here and here.