Expedited Removal

What is Expedited Removal?

Expedited removal was created as a way to remove individuals who are "arriving" to the United States and seeking admission who are subsequently determined to be inadmissible. Expedited removal was enacted as part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act ("IIRAIRA"), and provides for immediate expulsion of individuals stopped at various ports of entry (e.g. airports, border checkpoints), as well as those who are illegally present in the United States for a period of less than two years.

The expedited removal process is limited only to foreign nationals who arrive without proper travel documents (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)INA § 212(a)(7)), or those who sought admission to the U.S. through fraud or willful misrepresentation(8 U.S.C § 1182(a)(6)(C), INA § 212(a)(6)(C). The expedited removal process does not apply to individuals who claim to be a U.S. citizen, a Lawful Permanent Resident, or someone who has been granted refugee or asylum status or claims to have it. If a foreign national subject to expedited removal indicates a desire to apply for asylum or expresses a fear of persecution, he or she must be referred to any asylum officer for an interview. 

Individuals who are removed from the U.S. by the expedited removal process are barred from reentering the United States for a five-year period. Pursuant to INA § 235(b)(1)(A)(i), individuals removed are not entitled to a hearing before an Immigration Judge (unless the individual seeks asylum under INA § 208). If, however, an individual stopped by an immigration officer is allowed to withdraw his or her application for admission (INA § 235(a)(4)), an expedited removal order will not be lodged and there will be no five-year bar. Only individuals order removed under INA § 235(b) are subject to the five-year bar. 

Scope of Expedited Removal

In 2005, the scope of expedited removal was expanded to include three groups of foreign nationals who are subject to expedited removal. These groups are:

  • Individuals arriving at ports of entry seeking admission to or transit through the United States;
  • Individuals interdicted at sea and brought to the United States, including foreign nationals paroled under such arrival; and
  • Individuals encountered within 100 miles of the United States/Mexicans or United States/Canadian border who cannot establish that they have been present in the United States continuously for 14 days or longer.

Expedited Removal in Practice

Below is an example of how the expedited removal process works:

A foreign national, from Guyana, arrives to the United States with a passport and tourist visa that does not belong to him. In fact, he purchased the fraudulent passport and then placed his picture in it. At the airport security check, the foreign national admits that the passport is fraudulent, and that he does not fear returning to his home country. Under these circumstances, the foreign national will be subject to expedited removal at the airport because he is inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(6)(C) for fraudulent entry. In the future the foreign national will need a non-immigrant waiver of inadmissibility under INA §212(d)(3)(A)(i) to overcome the fraud ground of inadmissibility.  If the foreign national seeks to enter within the five year bar period, the foreign national would also need to apply for consent to reapply for admission (Form I-212). 

Challenging Expedited Removal Orders

In certain situations, expedited removal orders and their underlying grounds of inadmissibility, can be challenged directly with U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officials.  Our firm has extensive experience nationally in successfully challenging and vacating expedited removal orders that were improvidently issued by CBP.  In these scenarios, which are extremely fact-specific, our firm reviews the clients background (U.S. immigration and criminal) to determine whether there is any legal and factual basis to challenge the order itself and the underlying grounds of inadmissibility.  If there is, our firm prepares a detailed legal memorandum outlining the reasons that the expedited removal order should be vacated, together with supporting documentation, to the CBP location that issued the expedited removal order.  After submitting the packet, our firm continues to advocate on behalf of our clients to hopefully obtain a favorable outcome. 

If you have been issued an expedited removal order and would like to have our office review the order for any legal or factual insufficiency, please contact our office for a consultation with our experienced attorneys.