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Expedited removal (in the context of family detention)

Expedited Removal is the process by which Customs & Border Protection (CBP) or Immigration Control & Enforcement (ICE) may summarily execute an order of removal of a person without that person having any right to counsel or seeing an immigration judge, UNLESS person asks for asylum or expresses fear of removal. Expedited Removal can take place within a matter of hours. Expedited Removal came to us as part of the 1996 Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility ACT (IRIRA) enacted by a majority Democratic Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton.

In the family detention context, it is most likely women and children will find themselves in Expedited Removal proceedings because they were caught entering, or attempting to enter, the U.S. without authorization (“the proper documents”), see Sec. 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(l) and Sec. 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(ll)(i) and Sec. 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(ll)(ii).

But the word “caught” isn’t quite right, as it implies that women were attempting to conceal what they were doing, or get away with something.

Expedited removal applies to refugees who make their way across the Río Grande/Río Bravo and sit down, waiting for the Border Patrol to come get them.

Expedited removal applies to women & children walking across a bridge and telling the first U.S. official they see that it’s too dangerous in Honduras and they are seeking asylum in the U.S.

So what it does it mean that you are “entering” or “attempting to enter” the U.S.??

While it used to mean, entering or attempting to enter the U.S. at a “port of entry,” this definition and its practical application has grown. DHS now interprets “entering or attempting to enter” so that Expedited Approval applies to any person caught within 100 miles (161 kilometers) of the border and within fourteen days of entry (burden on the person to show that she has been here for fourteen days).

There are ways that people can find themselves in Expedited Removal proceedings, but the unauthorized entry or attempts to enter apply most often with people in family detention.

Why you really want to get OFF the Expedited Removal train!!!

There is no right to a lawyer.

There is no right to see a judge.

There is no right to appeal (but some orders have been vacated).

There are bad long term consequences (a five-year bar for entering or attempting to enter without the right documents, INA §§ 212(a)(9)(i).

You get off the Expedited Removal train by showing an asylum officer that you have a credible fear of returning to your home country.

Additional information about Expedited Removal:
Allison Siskin and Ruth Allen Wasem, “Immigration Policy on Expedited Removal of Aliens,” Congressional Research Service Report to Congress, CRS and The Library of Congress, September 30, 2005

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