The Trump administration is slapping fines on illegal immigrants who are ignoring court orders to leave the U.S. — one of them totals nearly half a million dollars.
“It is the intention of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to order you pay a fine in the amount of $497,777,” read a June 25 ICE letter to Edith Espinal Moreno, a woman who has remained in Ohio despite an immigration judge ruling two years ago that she must leave. NPR first reported on the letter.
An ICE spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation the agency is sending these notices to illegal immigrants.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act grants U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement the authority to impose civil fines on aliens who have been ordered removed or granted voluntary departure and fail to depart the United States,” read an ICE statement to the DCNF Tuesday. The agency also pointed to a January 2017 executive order that called on the government to fine illegal aliens.
Aliens who refuse a Justice Department Executive Office for Immigration Review order to leave the U.S. could receive a Notice of Intention to Fine, or NIF. They then are given a 30-day period to respond before authorities make a decision to issue an actual fine.
The agency said it began sending these fines in December 2018. An alien who ignores a deportation order can be hit with a fine of about $3,000, and that fine can increase by no more than $500 for each day they remain in the U.S. ICE was not able to confirm how many NIFs it’s issued since the recent crackdown.