Washington D.C., Jul 25, 2019 / 09:32 am
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke out Thursday against new Department of Homeland Security policies that includes the expedited removal of undocumented migrants who cannot prove to an immigration officer they have lived in the United States for two continuous years.
“This action is yet another escalation of this Administration’s enforcement-only immigration approach, and it will have terrible human consequences,” Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the US bishops' migration committee, said in a July 25 statement.
The DHS said in a July 19 notice that the new policy is meant to harmonize existing policies that treated migrants arriving by land and by sea differently. Expedited removal has existed in US immigration law since 1996.
Previously, the DHS could designate illegal aliens for expedited removal “within 100 air miles of the border and within 14 days of their date of entry regardless of the alien’s method of arrival.” The new policy allows DHS to expedite the removal of any undocumented immigrant anywhere in the United States, provided they are unable to prove they have been in the country less than two years.