The Perils of Expedited Removal: How Fast-Track Deportations Jeopardize Asylum Seekers

Kathryn Shepherd & Royce Bernstein Murray
Date of Publication: 
May, 2017
Source Organization: 
American Immigration Council

This paper documents what is happening to women and children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and seeking asylum in the U.S. For the most part, they are fleeing horrific violence in Central America. Using information drawn from thousands of cases of families detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, this report illustrates the difficulties these asylum seekers are having navigating the fast-track removal process known as expedited removal. Among the problems documented are a lack of ability for some to fully understand the credible fear interview process, a failure of some asylum officers to follow procedures designed to elicit information from the asylum seekers who otherwise might not feel comfortable talking about sensitive subjects; distraction caused by the traumas suffered in the home country, family separation by U.S. authorities, or medical illnesses; limited access to interpreting services for those who speak less common languages; and lack of legal representation. Those given a negative credible fear determination rarely are successful in having the negative determination reversed unless they have a lawyer representing them. The cases highlighted in this report raise questions about the appropriateness of using fast-track removal for individuals fleeing traumatic violence and seeking refuge in the U.S. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

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Shepherd, K., & Murray, R. B. (2017). The Perils of Expedited Removal: How Fast-Track Deportations Jeopardize Asylum Seekers (Special Report) (p. 28). Washington, D.C.: American Immigration Council. Retrieved from