Legal Aid Society


LAS: ICE is Deporting Immigrants Without Due Process

The Legal Aid Society – along with 31 other immigration legal services providers, law school clinics, and advocacy organizations nationwide – today sent a letter to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demanding an end to the practice of deporting detained noncitizens before they are afforded adequate time and opportunity to file petitions for review or seek judicial stays of removal.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) frequently executes the removal orders of detained individuals mere hours or days after the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) issues its final decision in a case. For a detained individual it is often impossible to review a Board decision, file a petition for review, and obtain a judicial stay on such an expedited time frame.

The letter requests that the Executive Branch implement a policy of staying final orders for 30 days, a policy that is consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“The current policy of deporting immigrants before they have had any meaningful opportunity to appeal the Board’s decision is a blatant violation of due process rights,” said Julie Dona, Supervising Attorney of the Federal Practice in the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society.

“It is often nearly impossible for a detained person to obtain a judicial stay in the short time between when the Board makes a decision about their case and when ICE begins the process of forced removal,” she continued. “DOJ and DHS must take immediate action to end this harmful policy and implement an automatic 30-day stay to ensure that individuals are able to actually reach the courthouse steps before they suffer the profound and potentially permanent consequence of deportation.”

“The opportunity to seek judicial review and a judicial stay of removal is critical to preventing unlawful deportations,” said Trina Realmuto, Executive Director of the National Immigration Litigation Alliance. “We call on the Administration to adopt policies that ensure that noncitizens have a full and fair access to these important statutory and constitutional rights.”