Expedited removal

The trump Administration is citing unacceptable delays within the immigration court system as reason to use expedited removal. In addition, the new administration has promised a surge of immigration judges and asylum officers to handle the backlog of cases with plans to build new detention centers, border walls, and increase border agents.

In 1996, during Bill Clinton's administration, the expedited removal process came into being. This law allows an immigration officer to deport illegal immigrants without referring them to a judge if they have been in the country 2 years or less.

This same law has been used by the Bush and Obama administration their criteria being that the immigrant was within 100 miles of the border and had been picked up within the last 14 days. In the memo of February 20, 2017, President Trump expanded the process to include any illegal immigrant in the country who has been here for 2 years or less and is undocumented.


The expedited removal process does not affect those who have been granted asylum or those who have a green card. If an immigrant has been granted asylum or if they have a green card it is imperative documentation be carried at all times and without exception. If an individual has a pending appeal in process for asylum that person cannot be deported without due process though it appears there may be issues in related fraud concerns that can affect asylum and/or deportation.

If an illegal immigrant is picked up before filing for asylum they will be subject to expedited removal. However, the law requires that if an immigrant is in fear of their life they are to be interviewed by an officer of the court whereby the immigrant must state a significant fear upon returning home at which point they will be referred to an Immigration judge for an asylum hearing.

It is imperative that all those seeking asylum carry with them proof of identity from their home country and to recognize that should they appeal a denial of asylum they can stay in country until their case is heard, but in a detention center.

The Memo

The DHS will recognize a lawful permanent resident, refugee, asylee, or a person who holds temporary protected or valid immigration status.

The administration recognizes that there is not enough detention capabilities and detention may not be possible for all risk individuals hence the need for expedited removal.

"Aliens who engage in criminal conduct are priorities for arrest and removal." The memo goes on to say that the DHS will partner with local law enforcement in agreement to use the most effective enforcement model for that jurisdiction.

Lastly, "It is in the national interest to detain and expeditiously remove from the United States aliens apprehended at the border who have been ordered removed after consideration and denial of claims for relief or protection."

While there is much more information in the administration's memo, and if you have opinions on immigration the document is a must read, it appears most news articles play to emotions and not to common sense.

Immigration is a long standing problem for the United States as the majority of us have soft hearts and softer emotions but, border security must be a priority. That does not mean breaking up families or sending back Dreamers which have been excluded from the memo.

James Madison argued that America should welcome the immigrant who could assimilate, but exclude the immigrant who could not readily be absorbed by society. Fears like that were mirrored onto the backs of the Irish, Italian, and Chinese immigrants. One wonders how much less of a nation we would be without them.

And that is something to think about.