What is Expedited Removal?

By Ruth Jean

Many immigrants believe that they cannot be removed from the United States without appearing before an immigration judge first. Unfortunately, this is not the case if you have an expedited removal order. In this blog, we’ll go over what this order means and what you need to know to protect yourself.

How is an expedited removal order issued?

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers only use expedited removal if you present yourself at the border and they believe that:

  • You don’t have the documents needed to enter the country, such as a valid visa.
  • You have committed some sort of fraud or representation. Common examples include lying about being a U.S. citizen or claiming that you only want to visit when you actually live here.

Expedited removal is only used in specific situations, as the immigrant has no chance to consult with an attorney or see a judge. However, the CBP officer must inform you of the charges against you and allow you to make a sworn statement responding to those charges.

Can expedited removal be stopped?

If you are facing expedited removal, there are two situations where the officer MUST stop the process, at least temporarily. They are as follows:

  • You claim to have legal status in the U.S. For example, you have already been granted asylum or are a lawful permanent resident. In this case, you may be allowed to enter the country to retrieve and present proof of your status. This process is known as deferred inspection.
  • You tell them that you are afraid to return to your home country. If this happens, the CBP officer must let you speak to an asylum officer to see if you qualify for asylum in the U.S. You may have to stay in a detention center pending the outcome of your claim.

If neither option applies to you, you can ask to withdraw your admission instead of being subjected to an expedited removal order. What this means is that you want to return home voluntarily. This request may be granted or denied at the CBP officer’s discretion.

What are the consequences of expedited removal?

The consequences of an expedited removal order will vary. You will typically receive a five-year ban on re-entering the U.S. However, if the officer issued the order because you committed fraud or misrepresentation, you could be banned from re-entry for life. Should you illegally return, you could be barred from obtaining any lawful status in the U.S. for ten years.

What can you do if it happens to you?

If you received a five-year ban, you may be able to apply for permission to re-enter. If you were charged with fraud, you may be eligible for a waiver if you can prove that a parent or spouse who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident would experience undue hardship if you cannot obtain lawful status. In some cases, victims of domestic violence may be able to apply for a waiver. However, if you falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen, there is no waiver except in very rare circumstances (e.g., you were a minor at the time.)

Can you appeal an expedited removal order?

You cannot appeal an expedited removal order, but you can engage an immigration attorney to request a review of the order to confirm that it was properly issued. If the officer made a mistake, your attorney can ask that the order be removed from your immigration record.

Contact a Florida family immigration attorney

Expedited removal does not involve the safeguards of attorney representation or judicial review, which puts legal immigrants and even U.S. citizens at increased risk of wrongful deportation. If this has happened to you, Attorney Ruth Jean can help you request a review of the order and pursue legal avenues that may allow you to enter the U.S. To schedule a consultation, please contact Ruth Jean today.