ICE Extends Preservation of Parental and Guardianship Rights for Minor Children and Incapacitated Adults

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WASHINGTON — As part of ongoing efforts to build a fairer, more orderly, and humane immigration system, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it will update policy, procedures, and requirements for its officers and special constables, in order to preserve access to family visitation and child protection services.

“In the performance of their duties, our officers and special constables will to the greatest extent possible preserve family unity and the parental rights of non-citizen parents and legal guardians,” said ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson. “ICE will ensure that our civil immigration enforcement activities do not unnecessarily interfere with or infringe the parental or guardianship rights of non-citizen parents or legal guardians of minor children or incapable adults.

ICE Directive 11064.3, Parental interests of non-citizens Parents and legal guardians of minor children or incompetent adults, ensure that when a parent or legal guardian is arrested or detained for civil immigration proceedings, the non-citizen can continue to visit their child or incapable adult under their guardianship, coordinate their care and participate in any related legal or child protection proceedings.

Additionally, the updated directive makes significant changes including, but not limited to:

  • Require that ICE directorates have procedures in place to identify individuals who are the parents or legal guardians of minor children or incompetent adults, including affirmatively inquiring about that status when a no -citizen is met.
  • Establish improved procedures and requirements for the initial placement and subsequent transfer of parents and legal guardians, including provisions to ensure access to family visits and child protection services and programs.
  • Authorize, on a case-by-case basis, the return of a non-citizen previously deported via parole in cases where the non-citizen’s in-person attendance at a hearing or hearings related to the termination of his or her parental rights or his guardianship is required.
  • New training will be developed for relevant ICE staff on safeguarding the parental or guardianship rights of non-nationals they encounter in the performance of their duties.

While the previous version of this policy applied to parents and legal guardians of minor children, the current policy also applies to parents and legal guardians of incapable adults.

The policy is effective immediately and full implementation will be completed in the coming months.

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