According to the study, of the 400,000+ people deported from the United States in 2013, about 83 percent did not have a hearing or an opportunity to present their claim to an immigration judge. About 44 percent of those deported in fiscal year 2013 were deported through a process called expedited removal, a procedure which offers essentially no opportunity to consult with a lawyer and limited right to judicial review.
Among the deported were children, asylum seekers, longtime residents, and people with lawful status. The ACLU compiled their research through interviews with individuals and attorneys and through a review of immigration cases. They found that those deported were often forced to sign forms they did not understand, were often lied to about their rights, or were threatened by authorities.
Most troubling, the ACLU discovered that many unaccompanied children had been deported without seeing a lawyer. "An estimated 95 percent of Mexican unaccompanied children are turned back to Mexico without seeing a judge," they wrote. "Only one of the 11 Mexican children traveling alone who were interviewed by the ACLU said he was asked about his fear of returning to Mexico. Most did not recall being asked anything and said they were yelled at and ordered to sign 'some form.' All returned without a hearing."
The study states that prior to the 1996 law called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, the vast majority of deportees had a hearing with a judge. Now, the majority of deportation orders are issued through rapid-fire processes that do not involve a judge.
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