Explainer: Fast-track Deportation at US-Mexico Border

Amid continuing chaos along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Biden administration has opted to retain a controversial policy that allows rapid expulsion of migrants from the U.S. The policy, first implemented by the former Trump administration, stems from a public health mandate imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.Migrants are fast-tracked for removal if U.S. immigration officers conclude they do not have a valid asylum claim, a determination made without migrants appearing before an immigration judge. Unaccompanied children who cross the border into the United States are exempted from the policy.FILE – A Texas Department of Public Safety officer directs a group of migrants who crossed the border and turned themselves in, in Del Rio, Texas, June 16, 2021.Is this a new process? No. Congress passed a law on expedited removals in 1996, and by 2004, the federal government had significantly increased its use. For the past 17 years, FILE – Asylum-seeking migrant families from Guatemala and Honduras arrive at the U.S. side of the bank on an inflatable raft after crossing the Rio Grande River into the United States from Mexico in Roma, Texas, July 28, 2021.Has there been reaction to the Biden administration’s retention of the policy? Yes. While U.S. authorities defend the policy as a practical necessity, immigration rights advocates accuse the administration of abandoning its human rights obligations.”Expedited removal should not be used under any circumstances. The risk of getting it wrong is simply too high. If the administration insists on use of this archaic black box of a process, there must be adequate protections in place, which have not been accounted for under the recent announcement,” said Gracie Willis, attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a press call.At a recent press briefing, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “It’s [Title 42] rooted in preventing the introduction of contagious diseases into the interior of the United States.”She added that U.S. health authorities had not lifted the measure, “because they feel there is an ongoing threat.” 

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