On Monday, President Donald Trump’s administration announced a measure that allows border authorities a greater range of legal action, giving them the authority to deport immigrants without the need to go through the courts beforehand.
The new regulations, which come into effect Tuesday, July 23, can be applied to anyone who has been in the country illegally for less than two years—unlike the previous regulations, which only allowed the deportation of people who had been in the country for a short time.
According to Fox News, Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said the idea of implementing an “accelerated expulsion” was in line with the Trump administration’s current efforts to deal with “a crisis on the southern border” by freeing up space in detention centers and reducing the more than 900,000 cases pending in immigration courts.
The official also said that the new measures will allow a more agile deportation process than the one carried out in the immigration courts of the Department of Justice, where each case can take several years to resolve.
The powers granted to border authorities were established by a 1996 law, but went unnoticed until 2004, when DHS established that people arrested 100 miles from the border who had been inside the country for two weeks could be deported immediately, CBC reported.
The new measure is expected to be implemented because of delays in immigration courts, which process nearly 950,000 cases that face a waiting time of approximately 713 days, or a little less than two years, according to the Syracuse University Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.