Senate Panel Eyes a Return Gift For Deportees
Not satisfied with a nearly 70 percent plunge in criminal alien expulsions under the Biden administration, the Senate Appropriations Committee is considering creating an Office of Removal Order Review (OROR) to bring more deportees back into the U.S.
Rather than addressing glaring gaps in interior enforcement, the lawmakers are instead worried about “unduly burdensome” requirements for expelled aliens trying to return to the U.S.
“The claim that some people who were removed may have a claim to lawful status is as misleading as it is bizarre,” says Matt O’Brien, a former immigration court judge and director of investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute.
The assertion that large numbers of removal orders are somehow questionable defies legal logic. Current removal processes grant immigration violators at least two hearings before an immigration judge and an appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If the BIA denies an appeal, the alien can seek review in federal court.
“The net result is that the vast majority of people who wind up being physically removed from the U.S. have absolutely zero claim that they have any unaddressed legal issues connected with their deportation,” O’Brien says. “Even the small percentage of people who are subject to administrative removal because of prior removals or criminal convictions have ample opportunity to seek relief.”
Claims to lawful status are considered in removal proceedings, O’Brien notes. Most aliens with a criminal conviction aren’t eligible for any type of status. And the mere fact that someone who is in removal proceedings may be eligible to seek a particular immigration status doesn’t mean they are likely to get it. Immigration courts are not required to suspend removal proceedings to allow an alien to apply for an immigration benefit.
Federal regulations governing immigration courts state that an alien’s physical removal generally ends immigration proceedings and prohibits the removed alien from filing any further challenges to his/her removal.
“Opening a back door for deported foreign nationals is an absurd case of using taxpayer funds to undo the very decisions that we expect immigration courts and federal courts to make,” O’Brien concluded.
At a time when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement brass are directing agents to ease up on arresting even serious criminal aliens, the Appropriations Committee is doubling down with an extralegal scheme designed to further undermine America’s immigration system.