Alien Removals and Returns

Alien Removals and Returns : Overview and Trends

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The ability to remove foreign nationals (aliens) who violate U.S. immigration law is central to the immigration enforcement system. Some lawful migrants violate the terms of their admittance, and some aliens enter the United States illegally, despite U.S. immigration laws and enforcement. In 2012, there were an estimated 11.4 million resident unauthorized aliens; estimates of other removable aliens, such as lawful permanent residents who commit crimes, are elusive. With total repatriations of over 600,000 people in FY2013-including about 440,000 formal removals-the removal and return of such aliens have become important policy issues for Congress, and key issues in recent debates about immigration reform. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides broad authority to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to remove certain foreign nationals from the United States, including unauthorized aliens (i.e., foreign nationals who enter without inspection, aliens who enter with fraudulent documents, and aliens who enter legally but overstay the terms of their temporary visas) and lawfully present foreign nationals who commit certain acts that make them removable. Any foreign national found to be inadmissible or deportable under the grounds specified in the INA may be ordered removed. The INA describes procedures for making and reviewing such a determination, and specifies conditions under which certain grounds of removal may be waived. DHS officials may exercise certain forms of discretion in pursuing removal orders, and certain removable aliens may be eligible for permanent or temporary relief from removal. Certain grounds for removal (e.g., criminal grounds, terrorist grounds) render foreign nationals ineligible for most forms of relief and may make them eligible for more streamlined (expedited) removal processes. The "standard" removal process is a civil judicial proceeding in which an immigration judge from DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determines whether an alien is removable. Immigration judges may grant certain forms of relief during the removal process (e.g., asylum, cancellation of removal), and the judge's removal decisions are subject to administrative and judicial review. The INA also describes different types of streamlined removal procedures, which generally include more-limited opportunities for relief and grounds for review. In addition, two alternative forms of removal exempt aliens from certain penalties associated with formal removal: voluntary departure (return) and withdrawal of petition for admission. These are often called "returns." Following an order of removal, an alien is inadmissible for a minimum of five years after the date of the removal, and therefore is generally ineligible to return to the United States during this time period. The period of inadmissibility is determined by the reason for and type of removal. For example, a foreign national ordered removed based on removal proceedings initiated upon the foreign national's arrival is inadmissible for five years, while a foreign national ordered removed after being apprehended within the United States is inadmissible for 10 years. The length of inadmissibility increases to 20 years for an alien's second or subsequent removal order, and is indefinite for a foreign national convicted of an aggravated felony. Absent additional factors, unlawful presence in the United States is a civil violation, not a criminal offense, and removal and its associated administrative processes are civil proceedings. As such, aliens in removal proceedings generally have no right to counsel (though they may be represented by counsel at their own expense). In addition, because removal is not considered punishment by the courts, Congress may impose immigration consequences retroactively. There were a record number of removals between FY2009 and FY2013, including 438,421 removals in more

Product details

  • Paperback | 36 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 2.29mm | 145.15g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508433410
  • 9781508433415