Typically, when the government wants to remove a foreign national, the person is placed in removal proceedings and has the right to see an immigration judge. Expedited Removal was created in 1996, and is a form of deportation (removal) in which the individual does not have the right to see an immigration judge. It’s a way for immigration officials to remove individuals from the United States quickly; however, immigration officials can only use expedited removal in specific situations.
What is Expedited Removal?
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides for expedited removal at INA §235(b)(1). It applies to people arriving or seeking admission to the United States and who are inadmissible under INA §212(a)(6)(C) for making a misrepresentation, or INA §212(a)(7) for not having proper entry documentation. In addition to being inadmissible for one of the above-stated grounds, expedited removal may be used in the following situations:
- Port of Entry: When an individual presents themselves for admission at a port of entry, but they do not have the property documents, or they’ve lied to gain admission, an immigration official may expeditedly remove them.
- Arrival By Sea: When an individual arrives by sea, without permission, they may be expeditedly removed for up to two years after their arrival.
- Apprehension Within the United States: Individuals who are caught within 100 miles of the U.S./Mexico or U.S./Canada border, within 14 days of their entry without inspection, are subject to expedited removal.
The Department of Homeland Security does not have to use expedited removal in these circumstances; an officer can always commence removal proceedings instead.
Who is Not Subject to Expedited Removal?
The following people should not be subject to expedited removal:
- United States citizens;
- Lawful Permanent Residents;
- Asylum seekers, refugees, or anyone with a fear of persecution upon removal;
- Individuals who are not inadmissible for misrepresentation or lack of proper documentation;
- Anyone who has been admitted or paroled into the United States; and
- Unaccompanied minors.
What If I Am Expeditedly Removed?
Many times individuals apprehended at the border are simply fingerprinted and turned around. If you are unsure if you’ve been expeditedly removed, an experienced immigration attorney can help you request your immigration file.
Typically, if you are given an expedited removal order, you cannot return to the United States for five years.
Expansion of Expedited Removal Under the Trump Administration
In the summer of 2019, the Trump administration attempted to expand the scope of situations in which officials could use expedited removal. The Trump administration intends to expand the area for expedited removal from within 100 miles of the U.S. border to cover the entire country. Additionally, he wants to increase the 14-day timeframe to two years. This would mean that CBP and ICE officials could ask anyone they suspect to be undocumented for proof of their status, anywhere in the United States. It would also mean that foreign nationals who entered without inspection could be subjected to expedited removal for up to two years after their entry.
On September 27, 2019, the Trump administration was enjoined from implementing its new policies; however, the lawsuits challenging the policies are still making their way through the court system.
If you have been expeditedly removed or believe that you were expeditedly removed, please contact an immigration attorney who is trustworthy and knowledgeable! Our attorneys at Landerholm Immigration, APC, have extensive experience in complex removal cases. Please feel free to call us at (510) 491-0291 to see how we can help!