102 Iowa L. Rev. 851 (2017)
Activists and scholars consistently target inhumane immigration detention practices in the United States. They note the physical conditions of the centers, the lack of legal representation available, and that detained immigrants are at a much higher risk of losing their immigration cases. It is clear from these analyses that detention procedures do not always function as intended. Yet absent from these studies is an analysis of the effect of docket timelines and enforcement priorities on a detained immigrant’s case. By comparing expedited removal proceedings—a truncated removal process—to formal removal proceedings, this Note demonstrates that docket timelines and enforcement priorities also contribute to this unequal balance in process to detained, as opposed to non-detained, immigrants. Even though the law does not recognize a truncated removal process for detained immigrants in formal removal proceedings, this analysis points to troubling similarities between a detained immigrant’s procedure and the expedited removal procedure. In response, this Note examines comprehensive immigration reform, criminal justice reform, and standalone solutions to balance the playing field for detained and non-detained immigrants. This Note advocates for re-examining the overreliance on immigration detention, re-thinking the current immigration docket framework, and re-evaluating immigration enforcement priorities in order to restore the process legally afforded to detained immigrants.