Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Primary Source: Full information about ICE’s response to COVID-19 can be found on its dedicated webpage.
- SEVIS: ICE has issued a Frequently Asked Questions list regarding how COVID-19 may impact SEVP-certified schools and F and M students.
- Enforcement: While ICE previously indicated it had temporarily adjusted its enforcement posture due to COVID-19, its current page does not indicate that its enforcement posture is different than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. ICE does indicate that some COVID-related precautions are being taken, such as providing their workforce with PPE and completing temperature checks, but its operations appear to be back to normal.
- Sensitive Locations: ICE indicates that it does not conduct enforcement operations at medical facilities, except under extraordinary circumstances, according to its sensitive locations policy. This is contrary to news reports indicating otherwise. See below under “Outreach to the Administration” to learn more about our advocacy in this area. Also, check out CLINIC’s resource about sensitive locations.
- Check-Ins: Although there is currently no guidance regarding check-ins on ICE’s COVID page, it may be advisable for those with scheduled check-ins to contact their local field office for additional guidance prior to their scheduled appointment. ICE also indicates that initial check-ins for individuals released from the Southwest border will now be scheduled for initial reporting to a local field office 60 days after release.
- Applications for Stays of Deportation or Removal: On March 18, 2020, ICE advised it will temporarily permit the filing of Forms I-246 through the mail accompanied by money orders, certified funds, or requests for fee waivers only
- Detention: ICE has temporarily suspended social visitation in all of its detention facilities. Non-contact legal visitation, to include the Legal Orientation Program, will continue to be permitted.
- ICE has temporarily suspended social visitation in all of its detention facilities.
- Legal visitors will be permitted, preferably in non-contact methods (video or phone conference), but in-person visits may be arranged with the facility.
- All in-person legal visitors must provide and wear personal protective equipment, or PPE (e.g., gloves, N-95 masks and eye protection) while visiting any facility.
- The Legal Orientation Program will continue to be permitted. No more than four LOP presenters may be allowed in a facility at a time and they will undergo screening using the same procedures as staff.
- Non-LOP legal rights group presentations offered by volunteers are suspended.
- Bond: ICE adjusted its policies for bond payment by limiting acceptance of bond payment to locations with “bond windows” or other barriers and only allowing the person paying the bond to enter the office. ICE offices that are not accepting physical bonds will provide contact information for ICE offices that are accepting bonds.
- Nonimmigrant Students and SEVP-Certified Schools: On April 26, 2021, ICE updated its FAQ for SEVP stakeholders about COVID-19, available here.
CLINIC Affiliates: If you are a CLINIC Affiliate and need assistance resolving issues in a case, please contact our Training and Legal Support team by submitting a question to Ask the Experts at cliniclegal.org/find-legal-help/ask-experts. If you have exhausted your case resolution options for a pending case you can also contact our Advocacy team at email@example.com. You can also contact advocacy if you are encountering issues in your practice that are not addressed by measures taken by federal agencies.