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News Posted on March 3, 2017

Dean Johnson Comments on Homeland Security Immigration Memos for KQED

Dean Kevin R. Johnson commented for Bay Area public radio station KQED on recently released memos in which Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly redefined numerous aspects of federal immigration enforcement policy.  Among other changes, Kelly called for increased use of expedited removal and an expansion of deportation priorities to include noncitizens convicted of minor crimes or suspected of criminal activity.

“The Obama administration did focus on crimes in its removal efforts, but it tended to focus on serious crimes and noncitizens convicted of crimes,” Johnson said. The memos mention “arrest, not just convictions, and don’t really seem to limit the possible removals to those convicted of serious crimes or those arrested for serious crimes.”

The expanded use of expedited removal, which allows for deportation without a court hearing, will likely be challenged in court, Dean Johnson said. “It’s very much in tension with our ordinary conception of due process,” he said.

Kevin R. Johnson is Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o studies at UC Davis School of Law. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.