It doesn’t happen often, but there are instances where someone born outside of the U.S. is not given a trial before being deported. This process has happened more frequently in recent years and is known as expedited removal.
Who is at Risk for an Expedited Removal?
There are certain circumstances where a person may be immediately removed from the U.S. without a trial. The most common time this happens is if someone is if they attempt to enter the U.S. at a border unlawfully. No one is allowed to enter the U.S. without proper documentation or previously granted permission (such as a visa). However, it’s estimated around 500,000 people enter the U.S. illegally each year.
Another reason a person could be immediately removed is for a visa overstay. These are people who entered the U.S. legally with a travel or business visa but have not left after their visa ended. It’s estimated that around 30% of current U.S. illegal immigrants entered the country at one point legally with a visa.
Those who are in expedited removal proceedings may still be allowed to stay in the U.S. if they can prove they:
- are a U.S. citizen;
- are a green card holder;
- are a lawfully admitted refugee or asylee; or,
- have a credible fear of torture or persecution if they were to go back to their home country.
Additionally, undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. continuously for more than two years are not supposed to be subject to expedited removal. Instead, the government is supposed to legally deport that person with a formal hearing.
How Does an Expedited Removal Happen?
As most expedited removals happen when someone tries to enter the U.S. at the border unlawfully, there are Department of Homeland Security officers at each U.S. entry checkpoint. If the immigrant cannot prove the necessary documentation to show that they should be allowed into the country, they will be taken to a mandatory detention facility. From there, if documentation can still not be provided, the person will be removed from the country. This process can take as little as 24 hours or several days or months.
Consequences of an Expedited Removal
If someone has been subject to expedited removal, they are not allowed to enter the U.S. for a minimum of five years. Others can be barred for life from entering the U.S. if they are subject to an expedited removal because they had fake entry documents or falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen.
Even after these consequences are handed down, a person could still ask for permission to re-enter the U.S. by filling out a waiver. However, the U.S. has no obligation to grant that request.
Can an Expedited Removal Be Avoided?
Yes. For those who have entered the U.S. lawfully, it is recommended to carry around their identity documents (it’s helpful to make a copy of these documents too — keep the original set at home and a copy on you at all times).
For those who are in the U.S. unlawfully and have been in the country for less than two years, it’s good to have a backup plan should an expedited removal occur. This includes who should be notified if something were to happen and what responsibilities should be taken care of.
It’s also a good idea for those in the U.S. unlawfully to discuss their situation with an experienced immigration lawyer. At The Sekou Clarke Law Group we’ve helped hundreds stay in the U.S. and later become citizens of the country. Reach out today for a consultation — (407) 269-8774.