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What is the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) process?

In May 2023, DHS announced a new process for families who enter the United States seeking asylum and are placed in expedited removal (“ER”) proceedings. Under the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) process, families may be placed under electronic surveillance and allowed to travel to their intended destination city to await a non-detained credible fear interview (“CFI”). Currently, FERM is being implemented in 45 cities nationwide.

DHS intends to process FERM cases on an extremely short timeline, which includes conducting the CFI a mere 6 to 12 days after the family’s arrival in the United States. If the asylum office denies the family’s claim, an immigration judge review (if requested) typically occurs within 48 hours of receiving the negative decision. These short time frames present real challenges in relation to securing legal orientation, consultation and representation.

Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) believes all families in search of safety deserve full and fair access to the U.S. asylum system and has launched a new project aimed at providing free legal consultation and representation to families subject to the FERM process.


Americans for Immigrant Justice and Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice have released The Family Expedited Removal Management Program (FERM): A Three-Month Assessment | Highlighting the Need for a More Family-Centered Approach.

Drawing on AI Justice’s experience and observations over an 11-week period providing legal services to families enrolled in FERM, the report provides insight into the early implementation of this program, highlights ongoing challenges faced by families and legal service providers, and provides numerous recommendations on how to make the process more rights-based and family-centered. 

Videos & Webinars

Programa de gestión de deportación Acelerada de Familias (FERM): Una breve orientación (February 2024)

Webinar: What is the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) Process? (July 2023)

Webinar: The Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) Program | A Three-Month Assessment (October 2023)

Webinar: Representing Families in Expedited Proceedings: An Overview of the FERM Process (January 2024)

Familias Seguras

AI Justice provides free legal consultation and legal assistance to asylum-seeking families to help them understand the credible fear process and asylum law in the United States, and to help them identify the facts of their case that are most important to share with the Asylum Officer during their Credible Fear Interview.

AI Justice is not a part of or affiliated with the U.S. government.

To request a free legal consultation, please complete our online consultation request form at

Help Us Protect the Rights of Asylum Seeking Families

It is through the care and generosity of our supporters, donors, and advocates that we can provide free legal services to our clients in the FERM process. Click here to donate and make a difference today.