“Expedited Removal” Expanded

Created in 1996, expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport certain noncitizens who are undocumented or have committed fraud or misrepresentation. Since 2004, immigration officials have used expedited removal to deport individuals who arrive at our border, as well as individuals who entered without authorization if they are apprehended within two weeks of arrival and within 100 miles of the Canadian or Mexican border.

On July 22, 2019, DHS announced that it is significantly expanding expedited removal to apply throughout the United States to individuals who have been in the United States for less than two years. The new interpretation became effective July 23, 2019.

Thus, beginning on July 23, DHS is applying expedited removal to all noncitizens who are inadmissible under to INA §§212(a)(6)(C) and (a)(7) and who have not been continuously physically present in the United States for at least two years, no matter where in the country ICE or CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) encounters them. This significant expansion will mean that DHS officers in the interior of the country will be able to bypass immigration court and put noncitizens directly on a fast track to removal.

However, on August 6, three organizations with members who are subject to the new rule (AILA, the ACLU, and law firm of Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP), filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia claiming that the new rule violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, and federal immigration laws. Later they filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent DHS from continuing to apply the rule while the case is being litigated.

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