Procedural Rights of Undocumented Aliens Interdicted in U.S. Internal Waters

Headnotes: 

Undocumented aliens seeking to reach the United States aboard a vessel that has reached the internal waters of the United States at the time of interdiction, but who have not come ashore on United States “dry land,” are not entitled to deportation proceedings or other proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Apprehension of such aliens in the internal waters of the United States solely for the purpose of interdicting or repulsing their attempt to enter the United States unlawfully does not constitute an “arrest” under section 287(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and would not require the institution of exclusion or other proceedings under the Act.

If such aliens are brought ashore on United States dry land, they would acquire the status of “applicants for admission” and would have to be inspected and screened pursuant to section 23S of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Updated July 9, 2014