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Biden Administration Ends Expanded Expedited Removal Policy

Mar 24, 2022

Photo by Fibonacci Blue

The Biden administration on Monday formally withdrew the Trump-era expedited removal Notice, which allowed Immigrations and Customs (ICE) officers to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants without a hearing in front of an immigration judge.

President Joe Biden’s February 2, 2021 Executive Order 14010 (Migration EO), directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the 2019 Notice on expedited removal and decide whether it should be modified, revoked, or rescinded.

Importantly, the Migration EO also instructed that the review consider the United States’ legal and humanitarian obligations, constitutional principles of due process, enforcement resources, and the public interest.

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The expanded expedited removal policy, which was instituted in 2019 under the Trump administration, went into effect on July 23, 2019. The new guidance allowed immigration officers to target immigrants anywhere in the country who were unable to prove that they had been in the U.S. continuously for two or more years.  Immigrants subject to expedited removal do not receive hearings before an immigration judge; instead, the decision is made by an immigration officer, rarely with any time allowed for the immigrant to consult with an attorney or gather evidence to demonstrate why they should not be removed.

Before the implementation of the 2019 Notice, DHS used expedited removal to arrest and then deport certain undocumented immigrants who were within 100 air miles of the U.S. border, to those who arrived by sea, and those who had not yet been physically present in the U.S. for 14 days. Created in 1996, the process was generally applied starting in 2004 by low-level immigration officers to quickly remove certain unauthorized noncitizens or immigrants who had committed fraud or misrepresentation.

The expanded expedited removal policy was suspended by the Biden administration in October 2021. This week’s formal rescission notice, published in the Federal Register, returns the policy to its pre-2019 state.

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