Over the past decade, the United States government has dramatically expanded its use of a program called “stipulated removal” that has allowed immigration officials to deport over 160,000 non-U.S. citizens without ever giving them their day in court. This report synthesizes information obtained from never-before-released U.S. government documents and data about stipulated removal that became available for analysis as a result of a lawsuit filed under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
According to the previously unreleased data, the federal government has used stipulated removal primarily on noncitizens in immigration detention who lack lawyers and are facing deportation due to minor immigration violations. These noncitizens were given a Hobson’s choice: Accept a stipulated removal order and agree to your deportation, or stay in immigration detention to fight your case. Many of these government records reveal that the stipulated removal program has been implemented across the U.S. at the expense of immigrants’ due process rights.