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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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August 22, 2019


Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general in opposing the federal government’s new rule vastly expanding the use of expedited removal. Under the new rule, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is authorized to deport certain individuals living anywhere in the United States without the due process protections afforded in normal removal proceedings, such as the right to an attorney or a hearing before a judge.

Raoul and the coalition filed an amicus brief before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia urging the court to grant a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the rule, which was issued without advance notice or opportunity for public comment.

“The administration’s expanded expedited removal process goes against our values as a country,” Raoul said. “Not only does it authorize immigration agents to engage in racial profiling, but it puts millions of immigrants living in Illinois and across the country at risk of deportation without due process. This rule is unfair, unlawful, and – above all else – un-American.”

Under the rule, the federal government is expanding the use of expedited removals to allow federal officials to deport undocumented immigrants from anywhere in the United States under a fast-tracked process that generally does not allow for access to legal representation, witnesses, or a meaningful opportunity to present evidence and defenses. The rule significantly increases the risk that people will be erroneously deported and virtually eliminates access to the protections afforded during formal immigration hearings.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is allowing expedited removal proceedings to be used to deport undocumented immigrants living anywhere in the United States if the individuals cannot establish, to the satisfaction of a rank and file immigration officer, that they have continuously resided in the country for two years. The rule also lacks a clear legal standard. As a result, lawful residents, U.S. citizens, asylees, or other individuals with legal protections that enable them to remain in the country could be mistakenly subjected to deportation.

In the brief, Raoul notes that the policy will inflict serious harm on Illinois’ families and communities. Mixed-status households with both lawful and undocumented residents may be torn apart with little or no time to prepare or seek legal representation. The prospect of sudden and unexpected separation can cause children to experience serious mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

Attorney General Raoul encourages immigrants living in Illinois and immigration advocates to be aware of the expanded process and access additional information available on the National Immigrant Justice Center’s website. Raoul also encouraged state and local law enforcement officials to access his office’s online Guidance to Law Enforcement on authority under Illinois and federal law to engage in immigration enforcement.

The Attorney General’s office also offers “Know Your Rights” resources for immigrants and immigration advocates free of charge on the Attorney General’s website. Information is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Serbian and Urdu, along with a mobile version and printable pocket-sized guide.

Joining Raoul in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.


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