Barriers to Protection: The Treatment of Asylum Seekers in Expedited Removal   [open pdf - 11MB]

"Unprecedented numbers of individuals worldwide are forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution or migrating in search of improved economic opportunities. For example, in 2015, more than one million refugees and migrants undertook treacherous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. In fiscal year 2014, 52,000 unaccompanied non-citizen children and 68,000 family units from Central America crossed into the United States from Mexico. These large, mixed flows of people require that nations have credible, effective immigration laws and processes to identify and protect bona fide refugees and asylum seekers. In the United States, one such system is the Expedited Removal process. Under Expedited Removal, foreign nationals arriving in the United States without proper documentation or with fraudulent documentation can be returned to their countries of origin without delay, and without the immigration court removal hearings, unless they establish a credible fear of persecution or torture. This report examines the U.S. government's treatment of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal. […] This follow-up report, based on field research and a review of public information conducted by USCIRF [U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom] between 2012 and 2015, evaluates the current situation of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal and the implementation of USCIRF's 2005 recommendations. The research revealed that, although DHS [Department of Homeland Security] had taken some measures in response to the 2005 study, there were continuing and new concerns about the processing and detention of asylum seekers in Expedited Removal, and most of USCIRF's 2005 recommendations had not been implemented. Furthermore, since USCIRF's original research, both the U.S. government's use of Expedited Removal and the number of individuals in Expedited Removal seeking asylum have grown significantly. As a result, flaws in the system now potentially affect even more asylum seekers."

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U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: http://www.uscirf.gov/
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