In some situations, immigrants may not be given a trial before undergoing deportation from the U.S., in a process known as expedited removal. In recent years, there have been more expedited removals as immigrants are immediately removed from the country.
When Immigrants Are at Risk of Expedited Removal
Expedited removals most frequently occur when an individual has attempted to enter the U.S. illegally. Although it’s illegal to enter the U.S. without a visa or other forms of granted permission and documentation, around 500,000 individuals enter the country illegally every year.
People may also be at risk of expedited removal if they overstay their visas. A visa overstay involves immigrants who entered the U.S. legally on a visa but failed to leave after the visa expired.
How to Avoid Expedited Removal
If an individual is subject to expedited removal and must undergo proceedings, he or she may still be able to remain in the U.S. if the person can provide sufficient documentation. Generally, individuals may be able to avoid expedited removal if they can prove that they are a U.S. citizen, possess a green card, are a lawfully admitted asylee or refugee, or have a legitimate reason to believe that they will be tortured or persecuted upon returning to their home country.
It may also be possible for undocumented immigrants to avoid expedited removal if they have lived in the U.S. for more than two consecutive years. In these situations, immigrants must undergo a formal hearing before getting deported.
How Expedited Removal Works
Oftentimes, expedited removal takes place at the border when people attempt to enter the U.S. illegally, as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers check people’s documentation at every border. If individuals cannot provide documentation proving that they can legally enter the country, the DHS will detain them and take them to a detention facility. Within a period of anywhere from 24 hours to months after detention, DHS officers will deport individuals who are still unable to provide the necessary documentation.
Upon expedited removal, people will not be able to reenter the country for at least five years. In some cases, individuals may be unable to enter for the rest of their lives if they make false citizenship claims or provide false documentation.
Individuals may avoid expedited removal if they can prove that they are legal U.S. citizens or that they’ve lived in the country for at least two years.