Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was scheduled to begin processing some undocumented immigrants under new expedited removal rules that greatly expand who can be deported without a hearing before an Immigration Judge.
Per a memo dated July 24, 2019, ICE Director Matthre Albence said the agency's officers could beging processing cases under the new guidelines on or around September 01, 2019.
This alert is provided for both, Individuals as well as employers who need to be aware of this change so you can take appropriate measures to protect yourself, your loved ones or your employees/team members.
Background: The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) allows ICE officers the authority to remove from the United States, without the nee for a hearing before an immigration judge, people who:
1. are either applicants for admission to the United States or satisfy the following conditions: have entered the United States without admission or advance parole and have been continuously physically present in the United States for less than two years,
2. are inadmissible under certain statutory grounds primarily due to failure to comply with visa or other entry document requirements, and/or fraud or misrepresentation,
3. make no claim to lawful permanent resident status, and
4. do not seek asylum or express a fear of persecution.
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), in 2002, then expanded the application of expedited removal to people who were either entering the U.S by sea, either by boat or other means; were not admitted or paroled into the U.S, and who have not been continuously present in the United States for at least two years.
Later in 2004, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expanded this even further to expand the process to any individual apprehended within 100 miles of any land or sea border and who entered the US without inspection less than 14 days before the time they are encountered.
What is Changing? DHS now asserts their right to enforce “expedited removal” proceedings against any individual found within the united states, irrespective of whether they are apprehended within 100 miles of a land or sea border of the United States. The new change transfers the burden of proof from an ICE officer to an Individual to prove his/her presence in the US for a continuous period of at least two years in order to avoid immedate arrest and deportation without access to an Immigration Judge.
Immigrants facing expedited removal should keep a folder ready at home and let a loved one know its location so it can be easily retrieved. The folder should contain any and all documents that can prove continuous physical presence in the United States, such as:
- lease for home or business and copies of letter from IRS for ITIN Number
- pay stubs; bank statements; income tax returns
- Marriage and birth certificates to show presence in the US during key moments
- Any records from church or community/social groups you are a regular member/attendee of
- Copies of high school graduation; transcripts from high school or college evidencing enrollment and presence in the U.S.
How this Affects Employers: The memo clearly states that the new removal designation will likely be used by ICE during worksite raids and working within the Criminal Alien Program, which partners with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to detain undocumented immigrants.
Questions? Please reach out to either myself or Kripa Upadhyay at Orbit Law, PLLC should you have questions or concerns.