Category: duress

Report Shows that Majority of Deportations are Done Through Expedited Removal Proceedings

The American Immigration Council published a report today showing that the majority of removals are being conducted through expedited removal procedures like expedited removal, reinstatement of removal, and stipulated removal. These three mechanisms, in my opinion violate basic constitutional rights including Due Process.

The three mechanisms  allow immigration officials or an immigration judge to hasten an immigrant’s removal. The first two, expedited removal and reinstatement of removal, allow an immigration officer to remove an applicant for admission at a port of entry or if found within 100 miles from the border. The procedures does not take into account the person’s contacts in the United States. The only possible recourse for the immigrant is to exhibit fear of returning to his country, after which he will be subjected to a credible fear interview. Oftentimes, the immigrant is not informed of his right to counsel or know that he had been deported.

Lastly, an immigrant could also stipulate to be removed from the United States. The report speaks about the coercive nature of the interrogation process, which raises serious Due Process concerns. During these interviews, immigration officers usually use coercive tactics to “convince” the immigrant to stipulate to be removed. These individuals are usually in detention, which raises serious issues regarding the voluntary nature of these stipulations.

The removal system is plagued with injustice and the odds are usually stacked against individuals who do not know the system and usually do not speak English.  While some might believe that these expedited removal proceedings might be the right procedures to deport people who have no right to be in the United States in the first place, they are, in my view, illegal and a slap in the face of our judicial system. America could simply do better.

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Second Circuit Remands Asylum Case to the BIA to Issue Decision Regarding Duress

Last month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals remanded an asylum case to the Board of Immigration Appeals for the latter to consider whether duress should be considered when it comes to the “material support” bar to admission. The “material support bar” bars any person who offered any material support to a terrorist group from being admitted to the United States. Ay is a Kurdish national and a citizen of Turkey. He was accused of providing support to individuals whom he thought were terrorists. He maintained however that he was under duress. The immigration judge ordered his removal after ruling that he was ineligible for asylum under the “material support bar“. The BIA affirmed but added that he could be eligible for a waiver from the Department of Homeland Security. The Second Circuit reasoned the statutory provision might include an exception for duress and the Board’s decision did not have the proper analysis. The Court remanded the case to the Board to issue a precedent decision dealing with the question. 
The main reason for the court’s decision was the fact that the statutory language is ambiguous. I look forward to the Board’s decision. 
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