OK, let’s get straight to the point: If you are in the United States without permission, you need to carry proof that you have resided in the United States for at least the most recent two years. Here’s why.
What is “expedited removal”?
On June 25, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that if you are a noncitizen in “expedited removal” proceedings, you don’t have a right to ask a federal judge to review your case.
If you are placed in expedited removal, you could ask for certain forms of relief, including asylum. But you will need to convince an immigration official that you have a valid asylum claim. If the official decides that you don’t have a valid asylum claim, then you can ask for an Immigration Judge to review that decision. If the Immigration Judge agrees that you don’t have a valid claim, then you could be removed from the United States.
“Expedited removal” proceedings are usually very quick – a matter of days.
Which persons may be placed in “expedited removal” proceedings?
Until very recently, the only persons who could be placed in “expedited removal” proceedings were those persons who were encountered within 14 days of entry to the United States and within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
The Trump Administration has decided to apply expedited removal to all undocumented persons encountered anywhere in the United States who have resided in the United States for less than two years. A federal district court had temporarily blocked that expanded use of expedited removal procedures. But on June 23, 2020, a federal appeals court ended that temporary ban. The decision of the appeals court means that, for now at least, any persons who are not able to show that they are permitted to be in the United States, and who are not able to show that they have been physically present in the United States for at least the most recent two years, could be subject to expedited removal.
Why should I carry proof of two years of U.S. residence at all times?
If you are encountered by immigration officials and you are able to show that you have been in the United States for at least the most recent two years, then you should not be placed in “expedited removal” proceedings. At the very least, you would have some more options moving forward in the immigration system.
Which documents will help me?
Documents that show your identity, such as a valid passport or other valid ID, will help to show who you are. Documents to show your time in the United States could include pay receipts, bills, leases, monthly bank statements, monthly mortgage statements, or any other documents that contain three important things:
- your name
- an address in the United States
- a date
By carrying these documents at all times, you should have an opportunity to avoid the “expedited removal” process.