What is “Expedited Removal”?

Expedited Removal is a process that immigration officials use to deport immigrants who have entered the US illegally or who attempt to enter the US without the necessary documents (e.g., a passport, a visa, a border crossing card, etc.). As the name “expedited removal” suggests, the deportation will probably occur very quickly.

While many non-expedited removals require a number of years as they work their way through immigration courts and appellate reviews, expedited removals take much less time.

Expedited removal may be used for immigrants whom government officials encounter inside of the US or at the border. More specifically, immigration officials may use expedited removals to remove immigrants whom they catch within 100 miles of the US’ southern or northern land borders, so long as the immigrants are fairly new arrivals.

An immigrant who tries to enter the US through a port of entry may also be subject to expedited removals. When an immigrant tries to enter at a point of entry, immigration officials determine whether they have valid travel documents and if they are coming for the reasons stated in their documents. If immigration officials believe that someone is trying to enter the country either by fraud or without proper documents, the official can refuse the person’s entry and order him or her immediately removed from the US. The immigration official’s decision is final, and the immigrant generally does not have a right to present his or her case in front of an Immigration Judge.

There are, however, some situations where immigration officers should not refuse entry at the border. For example, if an immigrant expresses a fear of returning to his or her home country or asks to apply for asylum.

After being removed from the US through expedited removal, an immigrant is barred from returning to the US for 5 years or longer, unless an exception applies.