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ICE Announces Implementation of Expanded Expedited Removal

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United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") has announced a new policy, scheduled to be in effect as of September 1, 2019, to expand the use of "expedited removal" to deport noncitizens from the United States.

The Trump Administration had directed Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") in 2017 to expand the use of expedited removal. This new policy announcement is implementation of those directives, and means that the use of expedited removal throughout the United States can be expected to begin at any time.

The process of expedited removal permits ICE officers to immediately remove certain undocumented individuals from the United States without the opportunity to have a hearing before an immigration judge or to request other relief from deportation. Additional background regarding expedited removal can be read here and here.

Under the new guidelines, ICE officers will now be permitted to deport, without the oversight of the immigration court system, undocumented individuals who have been present in the United States for less than two years.

Until this expansion, expedited removal could be used only to deport noncitizens who were apprehended within 100 miles of a United States land border and who had been physically present for less than 14 days. This is because prior administrations have reasoned that expedited removal, which provides extremely limited to no due process to those affected, should be used only against those who have very recently entered the United States without authorization.

The expanded expedited removal authorization will now apply to noncitizens who: 1) are encountered anywhere in the United States; 2) have not been admitted or paroled into the United States (i.e., entered with authorization); 3) do not have valid immigration documents or who are determined to have committed immigration fraud or misrepresentation; and 4) are not able to affirmatively show, to the satisfaction of the ICE officer, that they have been physically present in the United States continuously for at least two years.

Any noncitizen encountered by ICE who demonstrates that he or she has been physically present in the United States for at least two years cannot be deported through expedited removal. Instead, he or she must be referred to immigration court proceedings and granted the opportunity to seek relief from deportation before an immigration judge.

Additionally, any noncitizen who expresses a fear of return to his or her home country must be granted the opportunity to be screened by an asylum officer to determine if he or she demonstrate a credible fear of persecution.

Individuals who have resided in the United States for more than two years should consider what documentation they could use to establish their continuous residence in the United States, and have that documentation easily available if detained by ICE.

For more details regarding an individual’s rights in expedited removal proceedings, review our prior blog posts here and here.

This article is intended to serve as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice and counsel regarding your particular case, your legal rights, or your options to defend yourself against removal, you should consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible.

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.