A Message From the office of Congressman Jim Himes:
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced a new designation of aliens subject to expedited removal that applies to certain aliens encountered anywhere in the country within two years of illegal entry. Use of expedited removal pursuant to the new designation will help alleviate some of the burden and capacity issues currently faced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) by allowing DHS to more quickly remove certain aliens encountered in the interior.
Yesterday, the administration announced breaking news about a new fast-track deportation policy. ICE will now have the power to deport people from the interior of the U.S. without a day in court. This could result in thousands of immigrants and long-term residents being deported without due process and even U.S. citizens being mistakenly deported. The American Immigration Council and the ACLU are expected to sue/challenge this new rule which goes into effect today.
In the past this fast-track policy was limited to aliens caught within 100 miles from the border and within 14 days of their entrance to the U.S. Expedited removal (ER) now means individuals will not have the opportunity to a full merit hearing. The new designation and expansion add those who arrive by land or sea, apprehended anywhere within the interior of the United States, entered the U.S. by fraudulent means and/or unable to provide documents indicating that they have been within the U.S. to two consecutive years without disruption.
Anyone who has been within the U.S. for over two years should not qualify for expedited removal, however, there is fear that the ER will be overused and misused. This internal strategy would allow everyday encounters by ICE agents on the field/streets where they can approach individuals if they have “reasonable suspicion” and request to check their documents. Expedited Removal moves quickly, approximately 11.4 days from encounter/detainment and subsequently removal.
Those who are within the U.S. due to human trafficking should have a legal pathway to permanent residence through (VAWA) Violence Against Women Act, (T visa) victims of trafficking and/or (U visa) victims of criminal activity, however, if the individual cannot prove consecutive stay of two years within the U.S.-they may be subject to the expansion of the rule and its misuse.
Congressional offices can check on the status of an ER and challenge the possibility of an expedited removal made in error, which would provide time to investigate the facts and to gather documents to prove otherwise if applicable. Constituents are advised to keep their documents readily available. In addition, constituents who are detained can express fear of returning to their country, which would remove them from the expedite removal list and allow them to undergo a “credible fear interview.” Any alien who indicates an intention to apply for asylum or expresses a fear of persecution, of torture, or of returning to his or her country, will be referred for an interview with an asylum officer.