Illegal Immigrants Face Huge Fines For Ignoring Deportation Orders
WASHINGTON — Disputes over illegal immigration are heating up as some long-time foreign residents of the United States who ignored court deportation orders received notice they are liable for hefty fines this week.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began issuing fines on July 2. Some of them run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to immigrant advocacy organizations.
ICE claims authority to impose the fines from President Donald Trump’s January 2017 executive order that directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to “issue guidance and promulgate regulations” to facilitate the “assessment and collection of all fines and penalties” from immigrants residing without authorization in the United States.
ICE is overseen by the Homeland Security Department.
The legal precedent for the fines is derived from the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. The law streamlined deportation procedures into a single removal proceeding, authorized the construction of barriers along the border and allowed fines against illegal immigrants.
The standard fine for immigrants who do not leave when ordered is $3,000. A judge can amend the fine based on differing circumstances.
If immigrants ignore the deportation order and original fine, they can be fined as much as $799 per day, adjusted for inflation.
“ICE is committed to using various enforcement methods — including arrest; detention; technological monitoring; and financial penalties — to enforce U.S. immigration law and maintain the integrity of legal orders issued by judges,” the agency said in a statement.
ICE started issuing notices of its intent to fine illegal immigrants in December. The immigrants are given 30 days to respond to the notices before a fine can be assessed.
Many of the notices are being appealed through immigration courts.
Meanwhile, protesters tried to ratchet up political pressure on ICE with a demonstration in front of its Washington, D.C. headquarters the day after the Fourth of July celebrations.
The nonprofit advocacy group Court Appointed Special Advocates led protesters in urging ICE to end deportations of non-criminals and to stop family separations.
Despite protests, the Trump administration has given no indication it will ease up on a planned crackdown on illegal immigration. Raids by ICE on illegal immigrants — including families — originally were planned to begin two weeks ago in 10 major cities.
Trump postponed them until after the Fourth of July to give Congress another chance to reach an agreement to reform immigration policy.
In a separate move, the Trump administration plans to replace court interpreters for immigration hearings with videos to inform persons facing deportation about their rights. Government officials say the videos are intended to cut costs and speed up the hearing process as immigration courts struggle with a backlog of cases.
Civil rights advocates say videos instead of interpreters could interfere with immigrants’ rights to procedural due process.
The Justice Department told judges the videos would be used only for “master calendar” hearings in which immigrants are informed of their rights and their cases are scheduled for a court’s docket.
In The News
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The number of unaccompanied children encountered on the U.S. border with Mexico in April eased from an all-time high a month earlier, while more adults were found coming without families, authorities said Tuesday. Authorities encountered 17,171 children traveling alone, down 9% from... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden formally raised the nation's cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 this year, weeks after facing bipartisan blowback for his delay in replacing the record-low ceiling set by former President Donald Trump. Refugee resettlement agencies have waited for Biden to quadruple... Read More
WASHINGTON- The Biden administration has begun the process of canceling all sections of the border wall that were funded by money diverted from military projects, in relation to a federal walk back of one of the Trump administration's principal policy commitments. The announcement came as the... Read More
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration said Monday that four families that were separated at the Mexico border during Donald Trump's presidency will be reunited in the United States this week in what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calls "just the beginning" of a broader... Read More
ELOY, Ariz. — Detainees at an immigrant detention center in Arizona are alleging they experienced mistreatment, slurs and abuse by the staff after a Department of Homeland Security audit of the facility. Immigrants held at the La Palma Correctional Center told DHS Office of Inspector General... Read More
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden is putting Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of leading the White House effort to get a handle on the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Biden made the announcement as he and Harris met at the White House on... Read More