DHS Expands Use of Expedited Removal
On July 23, 2019, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule that dramatically increases the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officers to remove certain noncitizens from the country. Those subject to such expedited removal will not even be given the opportunity to see an immigration judge.
The rule will take immediate effect. Therefore, as of two days ago, ICE and CBP agents are permitted to ask anyone, anywhere in the U.S. to prove that they are not subject to expedited removal.
What is expedited removal?
Expedited removal is a process allowing DHS officers to summarily remove certain noncitizens from the United States without ever seeing an immigration judge. Expedited removal applies to certain individuals who are inadmissible for making misrepresentations or for not having proper entry documents. Until July 23, DHS had only issued expedited removal orders to noncitizens whom DHS encountered within 100 miles of the border and within 14 days of their entry.
Under the expedited removal process, if the noncitizen claims a fear of return to their country, the DHS officer must refer them for a Credible Fear Interview (CFI) with an asylum officer. If the noncitizen establishes a significant possibility of winning an asylum claim, they are placed into removal proceedings before an immigration judge. If the asylum officer does not find that the individual has a credible fear, the person can ask an immigration judge to review the asylum officer’s determination. Courts have generally not recognized a right of appeal from the immigration judge’s review.
Why is the expansion announced in the notice so significant?
The expansion means that any person who is stopped by ICE or CBP, anywhere in the country, has the burden of proving to the U.S. immigration official that they are not subject to expedited removal or that they have been physically present in the United States for two years, in order to avoid receiving an expedited removal order. For example, noncitizens lacking lawful status who entered without inspection can be legally removed without ever seeing an immigration judge if they have been continuously physically present for fewer than two years, even if they have U.S. citizen children or other strong ties to the United States.
Does the notice apply to visa overstays or others who have violated the terms of their visa? No, the expanded expedited removal authorized in the notice only applies to noncitizens who have not been admitted or paroled following inspection by an immigration officer.
If you, or someone you know, are fearful of the possibility of removal from the country, contact us today and schedule a consultation with one of our immigration experts to discuss your options!
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