Under the expedited removal process, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials can return immigrants who arrive in the United States without valid documentation to their countries of origin without delay and without immigration court hearings, unless they establish a credible fear of persecution or torture. If a non-citizen expresses a fear of returning home, he or she is detained and referred to a DHS asylum officer for a credible fear determination, with only a few exceptions. When DHS removes an immigrant through expedited removal, he or she becomes subject to a five-year ban on admission to the United States. If an immigrant violates this ban, he or she can be subject to criminal prosecution and a permanent ban on admission to the country. According to a recent report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the number of immigrants removed from the U.S. through the expedited removal process has increased fairly steadily over the years, reaching a high of 193,032 in fiscal year (FY) 2013, or 44% of all removals during that same time period. The vast majority – 98% – of immigrants removed through the expedited removal process in 2013 came from four countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The countries of origin of those subject to expedited removal have remained largely unchanged over the years; immigrants from those four countries made up 97% of all those removed through expedited removal in 2012, 96% in 2011, and 92% in 2010. Mexican nationals made up the bulk of those removed through expedited removal; 75% of all expedited removals in 2013 were from Mexico, as well as 77% percent in 2012, 83% in 2011, and 77% in 2010. As expedited removal has increased over the years, so have claims of fear and persecution by immigrants. Between 2000 and 2009, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) received about 5,000 annual credible fear interviews requests. In fiscal year 2014, however, the number of requested interviews topped 51,000. Individuals apprehended while crossing the border between ports of entry also has increasingly made up the bulk of credible fear claims; that number has risen from 10% of all credible fear claims in fiscal year 2005 to 80% in fiscal year 2014. If ICE has detained a loved one, contacting an experienced California immigration attorney as quickly as possible can be essential securing his or her release and fighting deportation. Taking steps to fix an immigration problem from the outset is often much simpler than waiting until the last minute and attempting to remedy the situation. Call Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., at (510) 491-0291 today, and learn what we can do to help you through this situation.
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