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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General Donovan Seeks to Halt “Fast-Track” Deportation Process

August 22, 2019

Contact: Julio Thompson, Director, Civil Rights Unit, 802-828-3171


Attorney General T.J. Donovan today joined a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia in filing an amicus brief opposing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) broad expansion of a fast-track process to deport individuals in summary fashion, often without adequate due process protections. In the amicus brief filed in Make the Road New York, et al. v. McAleenan et al., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the coalition of attorneys general urge the court to grant the plaintiffs’ application for a preliminary injunction that would halt implementation of the expanded process, which was issued without advance notice or opportunity for public comment.

“Expanding the use of fast-track deportations is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to target immigrants and undermine due process,” said Attorney General Donovan. “This cannot go unchecked. Our system of justice requires access to legal representation, and a meaningful opportunity to present evidence and defenses.”

The new process would allow low-level immigration officers to deport individuals apprehended anywhere in the country if they are unable to demonstrate that they are (1) lawfully present in the country, (2) have been in the country continuously for at least two years, or (3) have a credible fear of persecution if deported. Previously, the expedited removal process was narrowly restricted to cases in which individuals were (1) apprehended within 100 miles of the border and (2) unable to demonstrate they had been continuously present in the country for 14 days.

The expanded process now under challenge 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 U.S. could be mistakenly subjected to fast-track deportations.

Vermont is joined in filing the amicus brief by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the amicus brief is available here.

Last modified: August 22, 2019