ICE Issues Guidance on COVID-19

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ICE Issues Guidance on COVID-19

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AILA Doc. No. 20031658 | Dated April 3, 2020 


April 3, 2020

ICE updated its guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ICE updated information on visitation at detention facilities, including in-person legal visitation, and communication with detainees. ICE also released updated statements regarding detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Regarding legal visitation, ICE now notes:

Detainee access to legal representatives remains a paramount requirement and should be accommodated to the maximum extent practicable. Legal visitation must continue unless determined to pose a risk to the safety and security of the facility.

Non-contact legal visitation (e.g., Skype or teleconference) should be offered first to limit exposure to ICE detainees, but in-person contact should be permitted if determined essential by the legal representative. Prior to the in-person visit, the legal representative must undergo the same screening required for staff entry into the facility. The ultimate legal visit approving authority lies with the Warden or Facility Administrator; however, the facility should notify its local Field Office Director as soon as possible of any denied legal visits.

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EOIR released a policy memo noting that of March 31, 2020, EOIR has begun accepting digital and electronic signatures on all documents filed with immigration courts and the BIA. EOIR…



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