In a bid to target immigrants living without documentation in the United States, the Trump administration has expanded the expedited removal policy to those who are undocumented and who fail to show continuous and physical presence in the U.S. for at least 2 years. The administration released notice of the change in policy on June 22nd. The policy became effective today, July 23rd. Here is what you should know about this new policy.
What is Expedited Removal?
Usually expedited removal occurs at the ports of entry or within 100 miles of the port of entry. Before the expansion, The process entailed:
- The summary removal of a non-citizen who has been physically present in the United States for less than 14 consecutive days; and
- Those in violation of INA 212(a)(6)(C) and (7) who lack valid entry documents, who commit fraud or misrepresent a material fact to obtain admission, or who falsely claim U.S. citizenship.
The expeditious removal of these immigrants also means that they are immediately removed without the opportunity for a hearing before an immigration judge. Once one has gone through expedited removal, they face a 5 year bar from reentry into the U.S.
What is the Change in the Expedited Removal Policy?
The new policy change becomes effective on July 23, 2019. Now, instead of targeting individuals who are within 100 miles of the border and who have been in the U.S. for less than 14 days, the policy will target:
- Individuals nationwide who fall under INA 212(a)(6)(C) and (7);
- Individuals who fail to prove that they have been here for less than 2 years; and
- Individuals who are nationwide, not only those within 100 miles of the border.
Ultimately this means that anyone who is caught in this drag net by ICE, will be denied due process in an immigration court. This is scary. However, below are helpful tips to be able to seek due process and a hearing before an immigration judge.
Tips if Detained for Expedited Removal
- Keep any records that may show that you’ve been physically and continuously present in the U.S. in a safe place and update it regularly. If you are stopped or detained, you may need to show that you’ve been physically in the U.S. continuously for at least 2 years. Check with an attorney regarding the type of evidence you should keep. The Department of Homeland Security has not specified the type of documents that an officer will accept. However, based on experience, it is best to keep copies of the following documents below.
Good evidence of continuous and physical presence include:
- Complete tax returns, including W2s and 1099s
- Paycheck stubs/employment records
- Medical records
- Church and other religious records
- DMV records
- School and other education records (such as official transcripts)
- Military records
- Utility bills
- Credit card payments/statements
- Rental payment receipts/lease agreements
- Mortgage payment receipts/contracts
- Proof of legal entry (I-94, Passport stamps, visas, if available)
- Vaccination card
- Birth certificate of children born in the U.S.
- Utility bills
- Mail received with the stamp from the postal service
- Purchase receipts/orders with name and date
- Affidavits from witnesses
- If you fear returning to your country because of certain harm or persecution to you in your home country, be sure to inform the officer of your fear of persecution. You will then undergo credible fear screenings.
- Let the officer know you have an attorney and need to consult with the attorney. Request a hearing before a judge.
- Contact an Immigration Attorney to be on call should you need assistance ASAP.
I’ll keep you posted but as always, seek an experienced immigration attorney such as myself to get a personal legal advice on how to approach your particular circumstance.