Immigration can
be incredibly complex and can become a major source of stress for individuals
who are facing serious consequences, such as expedited removal. While a good
deal of immigration issues an individual can face take a longer period of time
to go through, giving individuals ample time to hire a qualified attorney, get
advice and go to court in order to try to stop the actions, expedited removal
is a much faster process. In many cases, those who are facing this threat get
little or no warning and are deported before they can actually talk to an
attorney or get in front of a judge to hear their case. Before you’re faced
with this type of situation, it’s important to understand more about this
process to ensure you are equipped to handle it correctly. While not all cases
can be stopped and many are justified, this is certainly not always the case.

What Is an
Expedited Removal?

First and
foremost, it’s important to understand exactly what an expedited removal
entails. Unlike many other immigration actions individuals are familiar with,
this process is typically started by a low-level immigration officer who is
working at the border or another port of entry into the United States, such as
a port of call for ships or an airport. An expedited removal is ordered when an
individual who is coming to the United States from another country is flagged
as a potential violation of one of the rules when it comes to traveling to the
United States, such as for work purposes. These individuals are then denied
entry into the country and are issued an automatic five-year ban from traveling
to the United States. In certain situations, this ban may be longer.

Who Can Be
Targeted by Expedited Removal?

Only incoming
travelers to the United States who are from foreign countries can face
expedited removal and be barred from entering the United States. However, as
long as you are completely honest regarding the questioning of immigration
officers and your reasons for entering the United States are legitimate,
there’s no reason to fear an expedited removal. The problem comes when the
immigration officer questioning an individual identifies any red flags. There
are a number of things that can be considered a red flag and unfortunately,
many of them rely on the interpretation of the immigration official, which can
lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary expedited removal orders. Some common
reasons an individual may be flagged for expedited removal include:

The bottom line
is, in many cases, expedited removal is at the sole discretion of the
immigration officer you’re dealing with, which can leave things open to
interpretation. If an individual is seen as misrepresenting themselves of their
intentions in any way, it is reasonable to deny them entry to the country.

There Are

Like many other
issues surrounding immigration, there can be exceptions to the rules when it
comes to expedited removal of a foreign national. For instance, anyone who is
seeking asylum in the United States cannot be turned away without question. In
fact, these individuals have a right to an interview with a specially trained
asylum officer who will ask the right questions to determine if the individual
has a valid fear of persecution and should be granted entrance to the United
States on that basis. While these cases may be extremely rare, it’s important
to understand your rights in this matter if you are facing an expedited removal
at the border. However, it shouldn’t be used as a simple excuse if you don’t
have a real fear of persecution because of the consequences that could follow.
The outcome of this hearing can be challenged in front of an immigration judge.
This hearing is typically scheduled between 24 hours and seven days from the
date of the appeal. Prior to 2017, residents of the Western Hemisphere were
automatically exempt from expedited removal, but this is no longer the case
because laws have changed.

Instances Are on
the Rise

Whether it’s
caused by an increase in individuals who are trying to immigrate to the United
States or simply a crack down on the number of people allowed to enter the
country, the number of expedited removals that are taking place has steadily
been on the rise. This trend peaked in 2013 and has seen a slight decline in
the years following, most likely due to the number of people truly seeking
asylum out of fear of persecution in their home country. However, this doesn’t
mean it isn’t a real concern for those who may wish to travel to the United
States. It’s critical to know what you should avoid doing and how you should
handle yourself before you attempt to enter the United States. Even if you have
nothing to hide, even a small error can leave the immigration officer
questioning your true intentions and increasing the risk you will face an
expedited removal.

What You Can Do

If you’re
planning to travel to the United States, whether for business or pleasure,
there are certain things you should learn about what you can and can’t do, both
leading up to your travels and when you’re in front of an immigration officer
at the point of entry. First and foremost, do your research on what items you
are allowed to bring and what you can do while you’re visiting in the United
States. Without the proper documentation, you aren’t allowed to work in the
United States, even if you aren’t getting paid. It’s also important to follow
these tips:

Not All Expedited
Removals Are Warranted

because immigration officers are also human, mistakes can be made. Perhaps you
accidentally misrepresented yourself or your intentions with no ill intent.
Maybe the immigration officer misunderstood something you said. There are many
reasons an expedited removal may occur, even when it isn’t warranted. Because
the immigration officer is the only say in whether you will be denied access,
it’s entirely possible for them to deny your entry for no valid reason. In
these situations, you will need to appeal the process in front of a judge in
order to get your ban lifted. They will be able to determine whether the
immigration officer acted appropriately or if your removal was unwarranted.
While it won’t restore the trip you’ve lost, it can remove the ban. However, if
the ban isn’t removed, you will need to apply for a waiver before you can gain
entry into the United States in the future.

If you were the
subject of an expedited removal and feel it was unwarranted, it’s important to
seek legal assistance as quickly as possible. Contact Ankeny Law to find out
whether you have a case.