Anticipating Expansion, Committing to Resistance: Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court under Trump
Posted: 27 Sep 2017 Last revised: 6 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 25, 2017
In the early months of the Trump Administration, the federal government has signaled its plans to exploit and expand what I have called the “shadows” of immigration court, referring to mechanisms used by the Department of Homeland Security to deport immigrants with little to no involvement from the immigration courts. As a result, the resource limitations of the immigration court system are unlikely to function as a meaningful practical check on the government’s ability to carry out its deportation goals. If so, how might the movement for immigrants’ rights be impacted? What shifts in strategy and resistance might become necessary?
This symposium essay discusses the early indications of the Trump Administration’s plans to rely more heavily on the shadows of immigration court, along with the watering down of procedural protection in immigration courts. It also considers the implications of such an expansion for immigrant communities and for advocacy in this area, with a focus on the potential for both legal and non-legal interventions. It concludes by calling on lawyers, organizers and allies to consider the explosion of shadow removals in resistance efforts.
Keywords: Removal, Deportation, Immigration, Adjudication, Summary Removals, Expedited Removal, Lawyering, Social Justice, Due Process
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