Trump Administration Expands Expedited Removal Process, but Ninth Circuit Grants Right to Federal Court Review
In 2017, the President greatly expanded the use of expedited removal by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through an executive order. Often criticized as providing a complete lack of due process for immigrants in the deportation process, expedited removal allows immigration officers to quickly deport some immigrants who do not have proper documentation or who allegedly have committed fraud or some misrepresentation. More specifically, individuals who enter the country without authorization and whom immigration officials apprehend within two weeks of their arrival and within 100 miles of the Canadian or Mexican borders are subject to expedited removal.
Individuals whom immigration officers place into expedited removal are not entitled to have a regular deportation hearing before an immigration judge like other individuals who have been charged with deportation. As expedited removal appears so rapidly, these individuals rarely have a chance to produce evidence, consult with an attorney, or even reach out to a family member or friend for help. Although expedited removal is not supposed to apply to those seeking asylum, the inability to challenge one’s placement into the expedited removal process means that many asylum-seekers who lack proper documentation and do not enter through a port of entry likely end up in the expedited removal process anyway.
Even more troubling is the fact that many immigration officers fail to meet their duty to provide even the minimal due process protections to which those seeking asylum are entitled. Immigration officers fail to ask individuals whether they are seeking asylum, fail to provide interpreter services, and fail to record, document, or even conduct the credible fear interviews that are supposed to be a part of the asylum process. This only results in more people seeking asylum falling victim to the expedited removal process.
Most recently, however, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that individuals seeking asylum who are forced into expedited removal due to these faulty procedures have the right to a review of their cases by a federal court. In ruling that the lack of federal court review for expedited removal cases violated the Suspension Clause, asylum-seekers in this position now may be able to have their day in court. No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration case successfully.