In the current immigration climate, the concept of expedited removal is often bruited about by those in the know. However, many, including professionals, are unclear as to what expedited removal actually is, versus what it has been, versus what the current administration intends for it to be. The concept is complex, and if you or a loved one are going to be in a situation where you face the threat of being removed, it is critical that you know your options.
Origins of the Procedure
The concept of expedited removal—when a potential visitor or immigrant is turned around without being permitted a hearing or indeed many other due process rights that citizens possess—was first propagated in 1996, in the text of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). At the time, the procedure was only used against those who met the following characteristics:
However, over the years, the scope of expedited removal has continually expanded, most recently in 2004, when the zone in which expedited removal would be used was extended to 100 miles from any point of the U.S. border. Officers were and are permitted to use their discretion in deciding to not detain someone, and there are exceptions which do not permit the use of expedited removal against certain classes of people (for example, until recently, Cuban nationals). However, the possibility of being detained has nonetheless steadily risen over time. New detention centers are being built and the intent of these new policies is clear.
Recent Adaptations to Procedure
In keeping with the expansion of expedited removal over the years, a recent executive order has, at least in theory, widened the ability of border personnel to order expedited removal by a wide margin. The President’s order broadens the scope of the program to any undocumented person in the United States who has remained for up to two years and cannot show proof of the latter fact. This has widespread potential for abuse, and Homeland Security officials have stressed that just because a person may not be a priority for deportation does not mean they may not be removed ultimately.
This creates a painful catch-22 for some, as well; if a person cannot prove they have been continually present in the U.S. for two years, they are subject to expedited removal under the new procedure. However, the only way to get out of expedited removal proceedings is normally to claim credible fear of persecution, and there is a one year time limit on asylum applications, unless the alien can show changed or “extraordinary” circumstances. Thus, either way, a person may wind up with an order of deportation or expedited removal, whether or not they have a criminal record or any ground of inadmissibility on their record except the entry without inspection.
Get a Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
It can be very easy to feel powerless against such a wide-reaching initiative, but all need not be lost. If you or a loved one has been placed into expedited removal proceedings and/or detention, quick action is needed. The passionate Chicago deportation defense attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC will do our best to ensure you are granted a fair shake. Call us today to set up a free consultation.
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