Nationwide Expedited Removal Upheld

Press Releases

June 23, 2020

DC Appeals Court agrees with IRLI, reverses injunction

WASHINGTON—Today the DC Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower-court injunction against the Trump administration’s nationwide expansion of a program of removing illegal aliens quickly from the country via a streamlined process known as “expedited removal.” Dozens of attorneys and groups had filed friend-of-the-court briefs in this appeal. Only one of these briefs—the one filed by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI)—supported the administration. 

Previously, expedited removal had been limited to aliens caught within 100 miles of any land or sea border and who entered the U.S. without inspection less than 14 days before the time they are encountered. Under its authority granted by Congress, the Trump administration has expanded the program to include all aliens who are found anywhere in the United States without immigration papers, if they are unable to prove that they have been continuously present in the country for two years.

In its brief, IRLI had argued that the administration not only acted within its statutory authority to expand the program, but that its decision to do so was unreviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act because it was “committed to agency discretion by law.” Today the appellate court agreed, citing unmistakable language in the statute giving the executive the widest discretion and providing no standard under which courts can review it.

“The Trump administration has expanded expedited removal to its maximum extent under the law,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This step was made necessary by the tremendous numbers of illegal aliens in the country, and the immense backlogs in our immigration courts. We are pleased that the court of appeals saw the sophistry of the opinion below and allowed the administration to proceed with this vital program.”

The case is Make the Road New York v. Wolf, 19-5298 (DC Cir.).

For additional information, contact:

Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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