Dawn Marie Rubio, our Juvenile Court Administrator, recently sent a memo to the judges, trial court executives and the clerks of the court addressing the main points of the ICE directive. Her insights are below.
You can also download a copy of Ms. Rubio's memo and the ICE Directive HERE.
Re: ICE Directive 11064.1, Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities
Parent attorneys should be aware of the attached directive issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] because of its implications for child welfare proceedings.
The ICE directive defines a "proceeding in which a family or dependency court or child welfare agency adjudicates or enforces the rights of parents or minor children through the determination or modification of parenting plans, child custody, visitation, or support, or the distribution of property or other legal obligations in the context of parental rights." The directive is applicable to alien parents or legal guardians who: (1) are the primary caretakers of minor children regardless of the children's citizenship, (2) who have a direct interest in a family court or child welfare proceeding, and (3) whose minor children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The stated policy is that "ICE personnel should ensure that the agency's immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily disrupt the parental rights of both alien parents and legal guardians of minor children."
The directive includes requirements for ICE to:
· Designate a person in each field office to serve as the point of contact on all issues related to parental rights in that given area;
· Hold detained parents or legal guardians in detention facilities that are reasonably close to where their children are living and to the location of the family court or child welfare proceedings whenever possible;
· Facilitate the ability of detained parents or legal guardians to participate in family court and child welfare proceedings that affect their parental rights, if a parent provides evidence of a hearing and facilitation of their participation does not pose an undue logistical burden to ICE or raise safety or security concerns;
· Facilitate the ability of detained parents or legal guardians to participate in family court and child welfare proceedings through video or teleconferencing when in-person participation is not possible;
· Facilitate visits between detained parents or legal guardians and their children when a parent or guardian can demonstrate that such visits are required as a precondition for family reunification;
· Accommodate, to the extent practicable, the efforts of detained parents or legal guardians with final orders of removal to make arrangements for their children, such as, joining them in their country of removal or arranging for a guardian so their children may remain in the U.S.;
· Provide detained parents or legal guardians, or their legal counsel of other representatives with sufficient notice of deportation, when such notice does not raise a security concern, so that travel arrangements may be made for the children of the detained parents or legal guardians;
· Coordinate, to the extent practicable, the access of detained parents or legal guardians to legal counsel, consulates and consular officials, courts, and family members in the weeks prior to deportation, in order to execute signed documents, including powers of attorney, guardianship agreements, passport applications, and the purchase airline tickets; and
· Consider, on a case-by-case basis, facilitating the temporary return of detained parents or legal guardians to participate in a hearing related to termination of their parental rights or legal guardianship rights if the family court has determined that their physical presence at the hearing is required.
The name and contact information for the local ICE Parental Rights Coordinator is:
Assistant Field Office Director
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Enforcement and Removal Operations
Salt Lake City Field Office
(o) 801-886-7414 (c) 801-502-2868
Finally, a few links to the ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations outreach website that may be helpful to you regarding this issue.