In response to inquiries and interventions from CLINIC and others regarding access to courtrooms located inside detention facilities, ICE issued the following announcement last week. While this development is an improvement, CLINIC is continuing to work with ICE to streamline and improve the process.
I want to make you aware of a policy change at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that will enhance detainees’ access to fair and impartial immigration court proceedings by giving their advocates important, additional tools to use during those proceedings. At the request of the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), ICE will now allow private attorneys or accredited representatives appearing before an immigration judge on behalf of detainees to bring laptops, smartphones, tablets, or similar devices into EOIR courtrooms located within detention facilities.
Private attorneys or accredited representatives will be required to complete a request form each time they intend to bring a laptop or similar device into an EOIR courtroom in a detention facility. Please note, this process is for laptops, smartphones, tablets, or similar devices and is not intended to put restrictions on other devices currently allowed in the courtroom. In addition, this process does not permit attorneys to take these devices into attorney-client visitation rooms unless the existing facility rules permit use of such devices. Further rules outlining where, when, and how these devices can be used while in detention facilities are clearly stated in the request form.
ICE is currently implementing this policy in each of its 24 Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices. To get the laptop request form, you should contact the field office in which your EOIR proceeding and detention facility are located. If you do not have a field office point of contact, you may identify and email the appropriate Public Advocate Field Liaison by using this interactive map on the ICE.gov website and clicking on the area where your pending proceeding will take place. Phone numbers for each field office are also available on the Contact ICE page.
Please help us spread the word about this important change in ICE policy by forwarding this message to your colleagues and community partners.
Enforcement and Removal Operations
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Andrew.R.Lorenzen-Strait@ice.dhs.gov