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New US immigration law policy involves expedited removal

Expedited removal is a process by which an immigrant without documentation of proper legal status can be detained and removed from the country without a hearing. In the past, the expedited removal was relatively limited. A new policy for U.S. immigration law expands how agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- ICE -- can apply the policy both in Louisiana and the rest of the United States.

The previous policy only allowed immigrants to be detained and removed if they had been in the country for less than two weeks and were located within 100 miles of any land border. The new policy allows ICE agents to detain anyone they believe to be an undocumented immigrant anywhere within the country. Those who have lived in the Unites States for fewer than two years can face expedited removal.

Since ICE agents are expected to target anyone they suspect of being undocumented, it is possible that citizens, legal residents and undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for longer than two years may also be affected by this new policy. Those who feel as if they might have to deal with ICE agents may want to keep documents indicating either their lawful presence or how long they have lived in Louisiana. One option is to have an employer write a letter stating how long a person has worked for him or her. Leases and tax documents may also suffice.

U.S. immigration law is already confusing for many people. Ongoing policy changes can make some feel as if they have few or even no options, but this is not always the case. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to explain a person's options for moving forward with immigration matters.

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