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  • Article: Fast-Track Deportation Expansion Could Impact Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants By Walter Ewing For Immigration Impact

    Fast-Track Deportation Expansion Could Impact Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants


    The U.S. Government has deported hundreds of thousands of individuals each year over the past twenty years. Since 2009, the numbers have grown dramatically and hovered right at or above 400,000 deportations per year . However, while the total number rose during the Obama administration, the underlying numbers of individuals deported from the interior of the country dropped as border deportations rose.

    The vast majority of these people do not see a judge before they are deported; nearly 75 percent of all removal orders are happening through fast-track removal procedures . One of these processes used in the border region is called expedited removal . This expedited process allows a low-level immigration official to order certain undocumented immigrants expelled from the country without any right to challenge that decision. Yet while use of that process has been limited to the border region, President Trump has ordered his administration to expand the use of expedited removal across the nation.

    This means expedited removal would be used as one more tool to remove individuals living in the interior of the United States quickly and with little to no due process.

    The numbers of individuals who could be impacted by this expansion of expedited removal is not insignificant. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center analyzed data from the Center for Migration Studies about the 2014 undocumented population and found that among the current undocumented population:

    • 328,440 people could be deported if expedited removal is expanded to include those living here for up to two years.
    • 163,995 people would be subject to expedited removal if it is expanded to those who have lived in the country for less than a year.
    • 80,646 and 40,098 additional people could be deported if expedited removal is expanded to include those that have been here for less than 180 and 90 days, respectively.

    Furthermore, any expansion at all of expedited removal would result in the removal of another 179,132 immigrants each year in the future.

    One group of people who will suffer additional burdens under an expansion of expedited removal are asylum seekers . Under the law, immigration officials arenít supposed to use expedited removal against anyone found to have a credible fear of returning to their home country. But it happens anyway. Sometimes a would-be asylum seeker finds it too difficult to immediately disclose traumatic events to an unfamiliar government official. Others may not understand the complex legal standards or process because they donít have the assistance of an attorney. And while many do express a fear of return, the immigration official sometimes looks the other way or discounts the seriousness of the claim and opts for expedited removal anyway.

    Expedited removal needlessly places lives in jeopardy, violating the most fundamental principles of justice and fairness. Fast-track deportations without judicial review have no place in a country founded on due process and the rule of law.

    About The Author

    Walter Ewing Ph.D., is Senior Researcher at the American Immigration Council. In addition to authoring numerous reports for the Council, he has published articles in the Journal on Migration and Human Security, Society, the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, and the Stanford Law and Policy Review. He also authored a chapter in Debates on U.S. Immigration, published by SAGE in 2012. Mr. Ewing received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School in 1997. Follow him on Twitter @WalterAEwing.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      I think you are greatly underestimating the number of people who will be removed through the expanded expedited removal proceedings. Your numbers are based on estimates of how many people have been living here for less than two years.

      The reality is that those aliens will have to prove that they have been here for more than two years to the satisfaction of an ICE officer, and they won't be able to get help from a lawyer or from anyone else to do it. And being subject to mandatory detention, they won't be able to gather documents to prove their case with. So what do you think is going to happen?

      You also seem to be misstating the procedure for credible fear determinations. If they are in expedited removal proceedings and they express a desire to apply for asylum, they will be entitled to a credible fear determination. Do you think the success rate is going to be as high during a large scale expedited removal campaign to move aliens out at an unprecedented rate as it was during the Obama Administration?

      And there is an additional twist. If they admit to having been here for a year or more, they will not be eligible for asylum.

      You may think this would "violate the most fundamental principles of justice and fairness," but the basis for expedited removal proceedings is that the aliens subjected to it have not lawfully entered the country. Technically, they are still at the border seeking admission, and the Supreme Court has said that due process to such aliens is whatever congress says it is, and that is expedited removal proceedings.

      This really was the big change that IIRIRA made. It changed the definition of enter to require lawfulness. Someone who was not lawfully admitted to the United States has not made an entry. Fortunately, it provided a cut off point. If someone has been here for more than two years, he is no longer subject to expedited removal.

      You have a choice to make. You can continue to berate Trump for enforcing immigration law against all aliens who are here unlawfully, or you can find some way to work with him on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would meet the essential political needs of both parties. I believe very strongly that the thought of succeeding at brokering such a deal would be irresistible to him.

      Nolan Rappaport
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