Judge Blocks Administration From Expanding 'Fast-Track Deportations' of Migrants

Honduran migrants gather in a park in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, on the border with Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 17. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

A federal judge has blocked the implementation of a rule that would expand the fast-track removal of migrant families that show up at the border. Known as “expedited removal,” the policy would allow the deportation of migrants without the benefit of a court hearing.


In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said the administration failed to follow proper procedures in issuing the new rule and may have broken federal law in doing so.


She stated that the administration did not follow the correct decision-making procedures, such as the formal notice-and-comment period required for major federal rule changes, and likely violated federal law in failing to do so. She said that “no good cause exists for the agency to have not complied with these mandates in this instance.”

Jackson, who is an Obama-era appointee, also said that the July notice by the Department of Homeland Security seemed “arbitrary and capricious.”

“Arbitrary and capricious” for whom? Is that a legal standard or a matter of opinion? Seems to me that Jackson herself is guilty of a ruling that is “arbitrary and capricious.”

“Put in common parlance, if a policy decision that an agency makes is of sufficient consequence that it qualifies as an agency rule, then arbitrariness in deciding the contours of that rule — e.g., decision making by Ouija board or dart board, rock/paper/scissors, or even the Magic 8 Ball — simply will not do,” Jackson wrote.


What the…? What is she blabbering about? The DHS rule went through normal channels. They apparently didn’t put the rule out there for a proper notice and comment period, but what’s this about a Ouija board?

Are federal judges getting nuttier or is it my imagination?

The rule itself makes perfect sense. There have been more than 800,000 migrants who showed up at our border this year alone. And the backlog of immigration court cases has reached five years.

“We are past the breaking point and must take all appropriate action to enforce the law, along the U.S. borders and within the country’s interior,” said acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan when the new policy was announced. “This designation makes it clear that if you have no legal right to be here, we will remove you.”

The opponents of this rule — the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Council — don’t care about the overcrowded, deplorable conditions at the border. They desired it. The human tidal wave that has swarmed our borders has presented the government with an impossible situation for which no one could have prepared. Those very same groups made it even more difficult by encouraging Central American migrants to come here, figuring the government would simply give up and throw open the border.


That didn’t happen and now the actions of the administration have finally begun to stem the flow. Adopting this rule would help alleviate the administrative backlog and beyond that, bring some semblance of order to our southern border.



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