In 1996, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA), a significant reform, for the better, of American immigration law. The law imposed harsh penalties on illegal aliens, restricted the ongoing amnesty of illegal aliens, and provided the strongest immigration law enforcement tool ever available, Expedited Removal.
Expedited Removal (ER) was a tool for arrest and removal of illegal aliens that did not provide a means for the alien to enter the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the immigration courts in the Department of Justice (DOJ
ER provided that an alien encountered at a Port-of-Entry (POE) or arrested in the United States could be processed and removed from the United States without any review except by then Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) enforcement personnel. The only major restriction was that illegal aliens in the United States more than two years were exempt Expedited Removal and had recourse to relief from removal in the EOIR. That was a major mistake by the authors of the bill, but had ER been fully implemented, and aggressively within the United States, many of our current problems would have been solved.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) expanded authority is set to become effective on Tuesday.
Current policy allows low-level officials to use expedited removal, which permits deportation without a hearing before an immigration judge, within 100 miles of the border and for individuals who have been in the country less than two weeks.
Under the proposed expansion, immigrants who did not arrive by sea anywhere in the U.S. — more or less than 100 miles from the border — and have been continuously present in the U.S. for less than two years could face expedited removal.
[Trump Admin To Expand Expedited Immigrant Removal Authority, by Chris Rodrigo, The Hill, July 22, 2019]
And you saw that correctly, ER was created in 1996, and over 20 years later it is only being fully, more or less, implemented. And worse yet, almost three years into the Trump Administration, which on its first day promised full implementation immediately.
The history of ER is the history of sabotage by both politicians and the Deep State, which I observed firsthand at a Port of Entry. Under the Clinton Administration it was decided to sabotage the rollout of ER and to not fully implement the legal authority. The Clinton Administration decided to initially only implement ER at POEs and later at the land border area for Border Patrol arrests of aliens arrested within two weeks of arrival and no more than 100 miles from the border. That was complete sabotage.
The Clinton Administration also wrote implementing instructions for Border Patrol Agents and Immigration Inspectors at POEs that sabotaged much of the program as well. First, the Administration required massive amounts of paperwork to be completed. Three different forms were required for each case, most of which was duplicative and required a long Question and Answer (Q & A) statement from the alien involved covering extraneous information about the alien’s parents and grandparents.
Additionally, the Administration required that the alien in question be prompted to claim “credible fear” during questioning; e.g., we had to ask the alien if he or she feared returning to their home country. This basically prompted aliens to respond yes, many times inadvertently. I recall one Mexican national who said he feared returning to Mexico because he feared he could not find a good job. Another from Switzerland claimed he would be arrested upon return to Switzerland because he was a homosexual. (Gay sex between adults has been legal in Switzerland since 1942.) In both cases, the alien was referred for a credible fear interview. This bureaucratic sabotage by the Clinton Administration effectively neutered the program.
Instead of ER helping increase the number of illegal aliens removed from the United States, under Clinton there was no significant increase. But the greatest impact was that in the interior of the United States, there was no use of ER on aliens already in the United States. Interior Border Patrol Stations and INS District Offices, generally Special Agents and Deportation Officers, were prohibited from using ER to help remove the illegal alien population that had grown exponentially since the 1986 Amnesty, itself mismanaged and wracked by fraud.
The sabotage of ER continued under George Bush, even after 9/11, as if to benefit the terrorists and their imitators for some strange reason. And despite a pledge to fully implement ER in an Executive Order signed by President Trump five days after Inauguration Day.
Section 11 of the order directs DHS to expand expedited removal throughout the country, as opposed to within 100 miles of the border; to apply humanitarian parole authority only on a “case by case” basis; to train all DHS personnel on the unaccompanied alien children section of the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act (TVPRA); and to ensure that credible fear determinations for those in expedited removal or “reasonable fear” determinations for those in reinstatement of removal proceedings are conducted within the “plain language of the provisions.”
[President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees, Center For Migration Studies, January 2017]
But for some strange reason, likely John Kelly and Javanka, this directive on expanding ER was never implemented. Another example of President Trump's failure in the area of personnel. Personnel is policy, and despite instructions, his chosen personnel failed to implement his orders. And this is likely one of the proximate causes of the current Zerg Rush of illegal aliens flooding the border. Those illegal aliens saw that Javanka, Kelly, and Kirstjen Nielsen were not serious about enforcement, and took advantage of the sabotage. Consider would have happened if instead of no deportations during the early part of the Trump Administration, the press was full of stories of ICE agents rounding up illegals and deporting them without any court hearing. That would have ended the Zerg Rush before it began. But such was not to be.