Brother and sister separated from parents are hugging each other in a foreign country, across a river.

Expedited Removal Proceedings Undermine Due Process and Place Significant Strain on Overstretched Legal Field


CONTACT: Madison Allman |

[WASHINGTON] – Anne Marie Mulcahy, chief program officer at the Acacia Center for Justice, issued the following statement in response to new findings that show that only 2.6% of families placed under the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program have access to legal representation:  

“The lack of legal support for families placed in the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program is egregious and indicative of an erosion of due process protections for people who come to this country seeking safety. Expedited removal proceedings do not allow enough time for families to secure legal defense, leading to worse legal outcomes and higher rates of deportation back to often life-threatening conditions, likely unfairly denying legal relief for which many are eligible. Furthermore, these “rocket dockets” place a strain on an already overburdened field of legal services providers. 

“We thank Representatives Jayapal and Barragán for shedding light on this significant gap in representation and strongly urge the Biden administration to stop enrolling people in programs like FERM. Instead, the administration should be working to provide comprehensive, equitable, and inclusive legal defense for all immigrants who come to the U.S. seeking safety.”  

The Acacia Center for Justice is a non-partisan immigrants’ rights organization that supports and coordinates a portfolio of national and state programs delivering legal services and representation to immigrants at risk of deportation and detention. 


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About Acacia Center for Justice

Acacia Center for Justice delivers and advocates for meaningful and effective access to justice and freedom for immigrants at risk of detention or deportation in partnership with an accountable, independent nationwide network of immigrant legal service providers and community partners. Acacia Center for Justice’s reach and impact are unparalleled. The national nonprofit currently operates seven federally funded programs and one state funded program through a network of nearly 60 legal service providers located in over 80 offices across the country.