Side-benefits anticipated from Trump's "Expedited Removal" executive order

Created in 1996 by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), expedited removal is a process by which immigration officers can, under many circumstances, quickly deport aliens who are in the country illegally, bypassing the immigration court system. Until now, powers granted by the IIRIRA have only been partially implemented.

In 1997, when the IIRIRA first came into force, this legal authority was only applied to aliens arriving at U.S. ports of entry by land or sea. In 2002, it was expanded to aliens who arrived by sea and had not been admitted or paroled, and who had been in the United States for less than two years before being deemed inadmissible. In 2004, expedited removal was expanded to cover aliens encountered within 100 miles of the U.S.borders with Canada or Mexico, within 14 days of their date of entry, so long as they had not already been admitted or paroled into the country.

Expansion of Expedited Removal Under Trump

On January 25, 2017, less than a full week after his inauguration, President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to expand the application of expedited removal procedures to their fullest extent.

On July 23, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a notice to the Federal Register announcing that the DHS will use its statutory authority to carry out expedited removal to its fullest scope. Individuals apprehended without documents or who entered the country by means of fraud or misrepresentation, who were encountered anywhere in the United States and were not physically present for two years prior to their apprehension, can now be removed without normal deportation proceedings.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, the new Department of Homeland Security policy would affect around 297,000 “noncitizens” who entered the United States illegally and have resided in the U.S. for less than two years.

Side Benefits of Expedited Removal

Donald Trump's expansion of expedited removal should help prevent overloading of the immigration court system with false asylum claimants. Aliens who enter illegally and are not apprehended at the border, and don't bother to make "credible fear" claims for asylum, have demonstrated that they have nothing to fear in their home countries. If they belatedly attempt to make an asylum claim after being arrested in the nation's interior, it is logical to ask why they didn't claim credible fear at the border. Expedited removal enables their deportation without normal removal proceedings.

Abuse of the asylum system is helping to backlog immigration courts to the point that cases are literally taking years for resolution. These delays create an incentive for illegal immigrants to make asylum claims, even when they know they won't be entitled to asylum at the end of the process. Simply making the claim buys them several years of living and working in the United States; not to mention an opportunity to permanently hide from immigration authorities.