Civil Rights Complaint: Asylum seekers deported in expedited removal, border patrol officers ignoring policy

There are nine individuals identified in the complaint, who were deported from the U.S. to countries where they faced persecution.

There are nine individuals identified in the complaint, who were deported from the U.S. to countries where they faced persecution.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), in a civil rights complaint, is alleged to overlook, ignore or block refugees from claiming asylum in the U.S. Often without a hearing or proper screening people are deported through the expedited removal process, even when they express fear of persecution and seek asylum in the U.S.

Authentic asylum seekers are blacklisted when they are improperly removed.

When an immigrant arrives in the U.S., they may seek asylum and, if eligible, they may be allowed to remain in the U.S. pending the outcome of their application. One of the eligibility requirements is that the individual has not previously been subject of a removal order. If CBP is deporting immigrants with authentic asylum pleas, they will later be blocked from admission to the U.S. because they will not be eligible because of their removal order, even if it is not warranted and was issued in mistake or neglect.

There are nine individuals identified in the complaint, who were deported from the U.S. to countries where they faced persecution. All nine of them were deported without hearings, were subject to renewed persecution in their country of origin and when they returned to the U.S. they were determined ineligible because of their prior removal. These individuals now are in the status of withholding of removal, and are subject to removal orders which the government agrees to withhold indefinitely.

The civil rights complaint calls for increased officer training and oversight.

In the civil rights complaint filed on November 13th with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, identifies CBP officers regularly thwarting the current systems and processes are the southern border officers where many Central Americans arrive in the U.S. after fleeing gangs, violence and persecution. In a statement by Keren Zwick, managing attorney for Heartland Alliance National Immigrant Justice Center reported, “CBP officers have tremendous power over the fate of people who come to our borders seeking refuge, and what comes a corresponding obligation to ensure our government does not deport anyone back to countries where they may be persecuted or tortured…Unfortunately many officers abuse that power.”

People who come to the U.S. to seek asylum often leave countries where they face persecution for their race, political, religious, sexual and other beliefs and associations. In cases, the asylum seekers fear torture and death. The single act of fleeing to the U.S. can cause serious problems for deported immigrants not able to seek asylum.

The complaint, prepared with the input from a significant collection of human rights groups and lawyers, requests that the DHS civil rights office make the following recommendations to CBP:

  1. Train CBP officers to ensure they understand the agency’s asylum screening requirements and are sensitive to the circumstances of recently arrived asylum seekers.
  2. Improve oversight to ensure officers comply with proper asylum screening procedures during the expedited removal process.
  3. Reinforce to CBP officers that they are not responsible for adjudicating individuals’ asylum claims, but must refer individuals who express a fear of persecution to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum Office.

While this complaint is reviewed for consideration, many look to Capitol Hill awaiting action on immigration reform by President Obama’s executive order or an act by Congress that would fix the current outdated and broken system of immigration law and policy.

Immigration attorney, KiKi M. Mosley frequently represents asylum applicants at Asylum offices and immigration courts and can help asylum applicants at any part of the immigration process. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including and related options for undocumented immigrants seeking immigration relief. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

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About expedited removal and the increase in its use in the U.S.

An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems.

An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems.

Imagine receiving a knock at the door one day and being served with a Notice to Appear[1] at an immigration court to answer allegations that you may not be lawfully present and may be removed from the United States, even after living in your current residence for many years. The Notice to Appear will contain a list of allegations against you, the respondent, who must appear before an immigration judge to answer or plead for an alternative lawful status to remain in the U.S., such as asylum or if you have a reason to seek cancellation of your removal. You are going to want to hire an immigration lawyer to represent you because the court does not appoint attorneys to represent you. The Notice will not mention, however, that you are one of the lucky ones, and fewer than a quarter of undocumented immigrants never get to see a judge and are virtually whisked away through what is called expedited removal. Expedited removal is an immigration enforcement option created to be used at the U.S. borders and ports of entry. In 1996 the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) was amended to include expedited removal[2]. Today, a non-citizen anywhere in the U.S. can be subject to expedited removal anywhere in the U.S., not only at a border or point of entry. Most often, expedited removal orders are triggered by charges of alleged fraud or misrepresentation regarding their immigration status. The U.S. Department of Justice publishes information about expedited removal. Not only do persons subject to expedited removal not get the opportunity to see a judge, the order of expedited removal is not appealable and there is no process for such. It is possible; however, that Customs and Border Patrol (“CPB”) officials may use their discretion to vacate an improperly issued order for removal, but this is not a common occurrence. If the person subject to expedited removal pleads  asserts that they fear return to their home country, the basis for an application for asylum, they may be allowed access to the immigration system to petition for lawful status to be lawfully present in the U.S. Expedited removal is a very bad outcome for anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. because there is a minimum five-year bar from re-entry to the U.S. In some cases, there can be a lifetime bar to entry. Although there it is possible to apply for permission to re-enter, this only occurs in rare cases and it is very important to hire a licensed immigration attorney to assist in such special situations. Many proponents of immigration reform argue that not being allowed to see a judge in an expedited removal case is unfair because the majority of removed persons do not know their rights and do not get the benefit of due process of law. A recent article critical of the expedited removal notes the increase in its use, “At least three-quarters of people deported in 2012 didn’t get a hearing from an immigration judge, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).[3]” An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile. [1] 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.13, 1003.14. [2] 8 C.F.R. § 1228. [3]New Republic, Deported Without Seeing A Judge: One of the Worst Parts of the Immigration System, By Nora Caplan-Bricker.