ICE recently released the 2019 National Detention Standards for Non-Dedicated Facilities, making significant changes to detention standards that had been in place for about two decades. The revisions lower oversight requirements and strip safeguards meant to ensure adequate medical care. One change that has gotten less attention is to the policy regarding detainee requests to get married in detention.
Standard 2.10(II)(D) of the new detention standards says that ICE will review and approve detainee marriage requests on a “case-by-case” basis. The new standards do not indicate what factors ICE will consider in making these case-by-case determinations. In contrast, prior standards on marriage requests had provided that a detainee’s request for permission to marry “will be granted” unless: the detainee was not legally eligible to marry, not mentally competent to marry, the intended spouse had not affirmed intent to marry the detainee in writing, the marriage would present a security threat, or there were compelling government interests for denying the request. The previous standards explicitly stated that “compelling interests” do not include administrative inconvenience or the possibility that the marriage may allow the detainee to pursue a new avenue of relief from deportation.
How amenable ICE will be to marriage requests under the new standards will likely vary by jurisdiction. Unfortunately, many people in long term relationships who intended to get married before unexpectedly being detained by ICE now face uncertainty on whether they’ll be able to get married, which may be key to their case against deportation or their prospects for return to the United States following removal. We will continue to follow the implementation of the new detention standards. If you have questions about the case of a loved one who has been detained, please contact us to set up a consultation.
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Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
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