In 2019, the Trump administration ordered ICE to begin deporting undocumented immigrants without hearings if they can’t prove that they’ve been in the U.S. for two or more years. While a federal court issued an injunction that initially prevented this policy from taking effect, the Supreme Court lifted the injunction in June of this year.
On October 7th, BuzzFeed News posted an article providing the latest update regarding this policy. According to the article, Tony Pham (head of ICE) ordered officers and agents to finish their training on the new policy by October 16th. Once they complete the training, they can begin implementing it.
Without this policy, ICE would normally arrest an undocumented immigrant and place them into a removal proceeding to initiate a deportation process. Generally, this proceeding involves a hearing before a judge in an immigration court, in which the undocumented immigrant has the opportunity to defend themselves and seek some form of relief (i.e. a waiver, asylum, adjustment of status, etc.). Because of this process, deportation may take multiple years.
The fast-track deportation policy, however, may prevent individuals who could be eligible for relief from building any sort of defense and arguing their case before a judge.
Preventing Fast-Track Deportation – Undocumented Immigrants
In response to this policy, our attorney at Wheatley Immigration Law, LLC urges all undocumented immigrants living in coastal areas or within 100 miles of a U.S. border —whether or not they are in court proceedings or have filed a petition with USCIS—to carry a copy of evidence that they have been in the U.S. for more than two years with them at all times. If it is not possible to carry the evidence on their person, they should keep it in their car or in a place where others can quickly and easily access it. Without this evidence, undocumented immigrants will soon be at high risk of a fast deportation without a hearing. Note that international airports are also treated as borders so they should be avoided at all costs. It is also good policy to call an immigration lawyer immediately to intervene if this happens.
Evidence of two or more years of residence in the U.S. might include copies of your:
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificate
- Bank statements
- Insurance policies
- Medical records
Anything that proves that you have been in the U.S. for two or more years can help you avoid a fast-track deportation.
If you are living in the U.S. lawfully, we recommend always keeping a copy on you of your I-94, permanent residence card, or any other evidence of your lawful status. If you have overstayed your visa but have filed for a status that has not yet been processed, you should keep a copy of your receipt with you to show that you have something pending with USCIS or another court or agency.
Bring Your Concerns to Our Attorney
Are you worried that deportation may be on the horizon for you or a loved one? At Wheatley Immigration Law, LLC, our lawyer has provided her clients with deportation defense and other immigration services for more than 20 years. The immigration system can be overwhelming in many ways, but we are here to help you move forward with confidence and protect what matters most. We are personally and professionally committed to keeping families together and preserving our clients’ rights.