New ICE Detention Standards May Stop Detainee Marriages

HomeNews & EventsNew ICE Detention Standards May Stop Detainee Marriages

Immigration News & Events



New ICE Detention Standards May Stop Detainee Marriages

Share This Post: facebooktwitterLinkedIn

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.

On January 24, 2020, the regulations that govern B non-immigrant visas (tourist visas) were amended to specifically exclude travel for the “primary purpose of obtaining United States citizenship for a…


On December 19, 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued revised National Detention Standards (NDS) for certain “non-dedicated” facilities housing detained immigrants. This is the first time the standards…



Recognized Leaders In
Immigration Law

Joseph & Hall P.C. is a full-service immigration law firm. We pride ourselves on being nationwide experts in all areas of immigration law, including the practice areas listed below. Our attorneys frequently are asked to speak both locally and nationally on a wide variety of immigration topics. For an overview of each practice area, please click the links below. If you have any questions about how these practice areas may apply to your case, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.


We Are Committed to Your Dreams.

Countless people dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. If your application was rejected by the USCIS, we are here to fight for your best interests.

Get in touch with us. Write us a message.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Tap Here To Schedule An Appointment
It's Fast & Easy