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DHS Expands Expedited Removal Rule

On July 23, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expanded the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers’ ability to arrest and deport certain illegal immigrants without appearing in immigration court, which is known as expedited removal.

In other words, ICE and CBP agents can now ask anyone anywhere in the country to prove that they have been in the United States for at least two years in order not be subject to expedited removal.

Expedited removal allows immigration officials to promptly remove specific noncitizens from the U.S. without seeing an immigration judge. Prior to the rule change, expedited removal orders only applied to noncitizens whom immigration officials came across within 14 days of their entry and within 100 miles of the border.

The following individuals are not subject to expedited removal:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Noncitizens who have been admitted or parole
  • Noncitizens not inadmissible for entering the U.S. without proper entry papers or through misrepresentation based on INA § 212(a)(6)(C) or 212(a)(7)
  • Noncitizens who are inadmissible based on INA § 212(a)(6)(C) or 212(a)(7), who have been living in the U.S. for two consecutive years before the date of inadmissibility determination

Since immigration officials have the authority to exercise the expedited removal rule, rather than immigration judges, mistakes are often made. On the other hand, immigrants who have been in the country for over two years may not have access to the documents required to prove they are not subject to expedited removal.

Noncitizens should carry the following forms of proof to avoid being subject to expedited removal:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (e.g. U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, a copy of a naturalization certificate)
  • Proof of lawful permanent residence (i.e. green card)
  • Proof of refugee status
  • Proof of asylum status
  • Proof of lawful admission or parole in the U.S. (e.g. admission stamp in a passport or I-94 card/printout)
  • Proof of two years’ residence in the U.S. (e.g. mortgage, lease, utility bills, school records, etc.)
  • Proof of DHS prosecutorial discretion (e.g. application for asylum, pending lawful status from USCIS, serious medical conditions, or significant ties to the U.S. (e.g. a child is a U.S. citizen)

For more information about the recent changes to the expedited removal rule, contact Hubbs Law Firm today at (305) 570-4802.