The New Expedited Removal Rule Gives ICE More Power — Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself
On July 23rd, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a new expedited removal policy change that could put more undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. This rule also means that U.S. citizens could potentially be erroneously detained if they’re questioned by immigration officials and don’t have sufficient proof of citizenship on them. Overall, this new expedited removal rule will give ICE more power, and there are a few things you can do to protect yourself in the meantime.
Expedited removal means that individuals can immediately be deported without a hearing before an immigration judge. Previously, the only undocumented immigrants eligible for expedited removal were those who had been in the United States for no more than two weeks — and who were detained by immigration officials within 100 miles of a land border. Now, the new policy states that undocumented immigrants who are unable to prove that they’ve lived in America continuously for at least two yearscan be detained anywhere in the United States and subject to expedited removal proceedings. The policy was enacted on July 23.
Following this sweeping rule change, here are some ways you can protect yourself.
If You are Undocumented & Have Lived In The U.S. For Over Two Years
This new expedited removal policy essentially means that anybody can be stopped anytime, anywhere and asked to show their papers. Therefore, it’s crucial to be prepared in case this occurs.
It is important to note that undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for over two years are not subject to the expedited removal policy. If this applies to you carrying with you whatever proof you can that you’ve lived here for more than two years is a good idea. Items like tax returns, an employer letter stating the length of time you’ve worked for their company, and a lease are all good options for this type of documentation.
If You’re A U.S. Citizen Or Permanent Resident
If you’re an American citizen and want to exercise extra caution in light of the new expedited removal policy, you should carry evidence of your citizenship all the time. A U.S. passport, a U.S. birth certificate, or a naturalization certificate issued by immigration services can all serve to establish American citizenship.
If You’re Undocumented & Have Been In The U.S. Less Than Two Years
Undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for less than two continuous years are eligible for expedited removal under the new policy. People in this situation should have a plan of action. That could include making contingency plans for children (and their custody) if they’re U.S. citizens, securing an immigration lawyer in case you are detained, and having a phone number memorized that you can call (like a family member or immigration lawyer) if you are taken into custody, so you can notify others what has happened.
For Everyone: Know Your Rights & Be Vigilant
Regardless of your status, it’s important to know your rights if you encounter immigration officials. It’s particularly important to note that, should ICE officials come to your home, you are not obligated to open the door or let them in — and the new expedited removal policy doesn’t change that. If someone knocks on your door and you don’t know who it is, don’t answer it.
Expedited removal raids will largely be occurring in public places, in immigrant communities, and workplace as the Trump administration seeks to find more immigrants who qualify for expedited removal.
It’s important to be aware of the possibility of these raids and checkpoints when you are in public places — and exercise vigilance by knowing your rights in these scenarios.
Contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers in New York and Forest Hills, NY at 718-407-0871 or online at https://www.prizant-law.com if you need help with Deportation Defense or any other solutions to your immigration problems.
Contributed by Svetlana Prizant, Esq., an Award Winning New York Immigration Lawyer
Call or visit Prizant Law at:
118-21 Queens Blvd, Suite 507
Forest Hills, NY 11375