On Monday, July 22, 2019, the Trump administration its expansion of expedited removal immigrants in the U.S. illegally. What is essentially a fast-track deportation, the new order gives agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the enforcement hand of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to make a determination of the legality of a person in the country and place in the “fast lane” for removal. As of the implementation of the order on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, DHS agents would be allowed to question anyone in the interior of the U.S. about their legality and the length of time they have resided in the U.S. If a person cannot prove their legal standing and that they have been in the country for longer than two years, they are subject to be placed in expedited removal, which can happen in a matter of hours; this can result in their deportation from the U.S. without a hearing or judge’s order. This move is seen as the administration’s latest attack on immigrant communities around the country. Previously, the process of expedited removal could only be applied to those found within 100 miles of the border and who have been in the country for less than 14 days.
When an immigrant is removed under an order of expedited removal, they have no right to an appeal on the order. While they are initially detained, the immigrant still has the right to claim a fear of returning to their home country, where they will undergo an interview to establish a “credible fear” and have the opportunity to fight for an asylum claim in the United States.
The administration announced the change as an attempt to alleviate the backlog in the immigration courts and allows the immigration laws to be administered more evenly across the agencies. Critics say the new expansion will result in a rise of racial profiling among minority communities, which will damper immigrant cooperation with law enforcement when reporting crime. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already pledged to fight this expansion in court, noting how, in the past, expedited removals have been rife with errors in the execution, sometimes leading to U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents being detained, or, in extreme cases, sometimes removed.