Administration Reviewing Draft Plan to Fast-track Deportations

Non-Credible Fear of Persecution in home nation may not be enough for migrants without documents to remain in the United States









By: JEFF KOOPERSMITH, Editor Emeritus, American Politics Journal


So, here we go.

Last week the “fake” news toads began a rumor that the Trump Administration plans to arrest immigrants without proper permission using the military, and specifically the Army Reserve.  Thus, far the Administration has denied this, and use of more than local police would depend on the numbers and the speedometer – How many in what length of time?

The latest Department of Homeland Security has prepared, as of last week, guidance for immigration agents. They are based on the premise that deportations will be accelerated by refuting claims that meet the asylum tests now in force. These guidelines have not been approved by the President or DHL officials.

Thus far, definitions and other criteria such as, family who are citizens, has not been include in these guidelines.  Thus, for now the migrant may be subject to personal or idiosyncratic decisions when making the first presentation of their fear of persecution if deported to their home country.

Very supple and perhaps far too plastic interpretations that would lead to quick or immediate denial of applications based on asylum claims by agents not qualified as judges nor qualified by seniority precedence or years of service in this arena.  In any case, the guidelines still allow for a sort of undefined judicial “hearing” before actual deportation upon agent refusal.

This wide discretion is feared by immigration lawyers who, of course, would prefer any pleading of persecution be immediately placed on a docket for trial on the evidence or either side, or perhaps because the immigrant has either been charged of committing a crime, or convicted of same. Already news sources report migrants without documents who are simply charged have already been deported by the DHS or assigns.

A full hearing and arguments before a judge or jury would take years as of now because of large backlogs, and lack of judges, so many of whom have not been seated because they were tapped by the Obama Administration.

In addition, the guidelines include a call of funding and allocating as many as eight thousand new beds for migrant containment while awaiting such judicial action.  The new beds could very be in prisons around the nation, or in other facilities most likely managed by private companies who now provide prisons for convicted felons.

Additionally, the memos or guidelines contain for the rapid hire of 10,000 more ICE agents, and 5,000 more border patrol agents which could cost as much as $1 billion a year at salaries approaching a mean of close to $40,000 dollars annually for the total fifteen thousand new agents and border guards, equipment, and supervision, etc.

Worse for the migrant is that even before these guidelines, only 18% of those emigrants claiming fear of persecution or worse were approved. More than 90% were denied.

Secretary John Kelly has issued only two “draft” memos at this time and the Administration in yet reviewing and most probably measuring public reaction from news sources and comments by other agencies and professional individuals working with or counter to immigrant populations.

President Trump has promised in multiple speeches and public appearances to be tough on illegal immigration and some experts believe that simply just the charge of a crime (arrest) would be enough to deport. 

In essence, anyone not documented and remaining in the United States beyond his or her tourist visa or other legal or illegal border crossing would be guilty of at least a charge even before appearing formally before an agent, or anyone else, asking for asylum.

Under this alleged test of “Credible Fear” there must be a provable or perhaps demonstrable and well-founded fear of persecution from race, religion, nationality, group membership, or political and perhaps journalistic opinion.

When a plea for asylum is made first at the border or at some detention facility. Most claiming such fear are approved at somewhere beteween 85 and 90 percent of the time per USCIS data between the autumn of 2015 and spring of 2016. Those who earned the right to go to court on the matter rose from approximately 14,000 in 2011 to more than 34,000 as of 2015. Lawyers who specialize in these cases know that asylum agents will be careful not to deny pleas for asylum and refer a majority of cases to judge.

According to Reuters, President Trumps directive(s) call for expeditious handling and prompt deportation upon rejection or court denial.

The current increase in deportations and an increase now may stress already congested detention facilities and increased problems transporting them from one appearance to another.

The increase in beds for claimants (8,000) would help end the “catch and release” action where asylum seekers are freed pending their court hearing.

Rumor has it that DHS might expand agreements with private prison purveyors like GEO and Core Civic holding most immigrant detainees now.

The Trump White House worries that asylum aspirants can ask to plead before judges for other cause like family ties, children born in the United States who are citizens from birth and other complex situations.


Published by

Jeff Koopersmith

From 1978 Jeff Koopersmith, Chief Legislative Analyst for Budgets and Taxation ran the US Senate Campaign for Ed Howard - PA in the primary, lived in Washington DC, and chose later to lobby for green and health legislation including drafting such laws including on Indoor radiation, fuel ethanol blends and manufacture in the US for clean air and for large conglomerates - women's health and wellness. Since 1988 he has been the editor in chief of American Politics Journal - the first political news magazine updated daily on the Net. It is American Politics Journal's 27th anniversary this year. Koopersmith in now semi-retired, writing books on endangered species, aging and the electronics industry. He continues to write opinion re Politics and policy and is the named Editor Emeritus of American Politics Journal. He attended college at UC Northridge and UCLA, at Southwestern School of Law, USC, and Columbia University as one of its youngest admitted students studying logic and semantics, chemistry, and English literature.