Expedited Removal at U.S. Borders: A World without a Constitution


Gregorio Diaz, an American citizen of Mexican descent, is an Illinois resident. On February 18, 1998, Mr. Diaz arrived at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago from a trip abroad. When passing through customs, he was detained by an Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”) inspection officer’, at which time he submitted documentation of his citizenship. Instead of allowing Mr. Diaz to enter the United States, the inspection officer judged him inadmissible, confiscated his documents, and summarily “removed” Mr. Diaz, deporting him to Mexico. By the time Mr. Diaz was permitted to return to the U.S., he had lost his job, suffered emotional distress, and only retrieved his documents after suing INS.? Despite the fact that Mr. Diaz’s American citizenship gave him full legal entitlement to enter the United States, he never had a chance to defend his constitutional rights by proving his admissibility before an immigration judge. A new immigration law, put into effect only a year before Mr. Diaz’s failed attempt to return to the United States, authorized the new INS procedure which precluded judicial review of the inspection officer’s determination that excluded Mr. Diaz.

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