Discussion Points for Punto Legal –July 31, 2019
1. Expedited Removal.
Expedited removal is a process by which low-level immigration officers can quickly deport immigrants who are undocumented. Since 2004, immigration officials have used expedited removal to deport individuals who arrive at the border, as well as individuals who entered without authorization, if they are apprehended within two weeks of arrival and within 100 miles of the Canadian or Mexican border. On July 22, 2019, ICE announced that it is significantly expanding expedited removal to apply throughout the United States to immigrants who have been in the United States for less than two years. The announcement expands the use of expedited removal to cover the whole country and to apply to immigrants who have been in the United States for under two years. ICE will apply expedited removal to all immigrants who have no documents and who have not been continuously physically present in the United States for at least two years, no matter where in the country ICE or CBP encounters them.
This expansion will mean that DHS officers in the interior of the country will be able to bypass immigration court and put noncitizens directly on a fast track to removal.
So, how do we cope with this expanded authority?
First, expedited removal does not apply to immigrants who entered with a visa, even if they overstayed the authorized period of stay. Let’s say Hector entered with a visa in March 2018. He overstayed starting in September 2018. He has been here for less than two years and ICE wants use expedited removal. Hector should tell ICE “I entered with a visa and I am not subject to expedited removal.”
Second, it does not apply to undocumented immigrants who entered illegally and have been in the U.S. for more than two years. If ICE wants to use expedited removal to deport Claudia, who has been in the U.S. since 2011, she should tell ICE “I have lived in the United States for more than two years and am not subject to expedited removal.”
Third, if you are undocumented it is a good idea to carry a copy of a document that proves you have been in the U.S. for over 2 years, such as birth certificates of children born here; receipts; leases; utility bills, or federal income tax returns.
2. Immigrants and Social Media.
Many of you have Facebook accounts and are big users of social media. Did you know that immigration officials are now looking at your Facebook page when you apply for a benefit? Do you have photographs on Facebook of you and a gun? Do you have photos on Facebook show drug use? If you are seeking an immigration benefit, make a point of cleaning up your Facebook page and other social media.
3. Parole in Place (“PIP”).
There were rumors out of Washington last week that the Trump Administration was going to cancel the “parole in place” or PIP program for spouses and parents of members of the military. If you have applied for or are thinking about applying for PIP, you should consult an immigration attorney right away. One thing you may want to do is get your application in quickly.
4. El Chapo coming to Colorado.
El Chapo is in Colorado. As you know, El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison last week. The Bureau of Prisons put him in the federal super-max prison in Florence, Colorado. At the Supermax, prisoners spend 23 hours per day in single, soundproof cells made of poured concrete. You have no idea where they are within the prison.