NEW IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT POLICY  – On August 23, 2013, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a policy entitled: Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities.

The policy promotes detained parents’ participation in state child welfare court proceedings, parent-child visitation, coordination of parents’ deportation with actions to promote their children’s safe and legally secure placements, and facilitation of return to the United States so that parents can participate in child welfare court proceedings.

The directive establishes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy and proceedures to address the placement, monitoring, accomodation and removal of certain alien parents.  The directive is particularly concerned with the placement, monitoring, accomodation and removal of alien parents of legal guardians who are: 1) primary caretakers of minor children without regard to dependent’s citizenship; 2) parent and legal guardians who have a direct interest in family court proceeding involving a minor child or welfare proceedings in the US; and 3) parents or legal guardians whose minor children are US citizens or lawful permanent residents.

The directive is meant to complement the immigration enforcement priorities and prosectorial discretion memoranda and other related detention standards and policies governing intake, detention and removal of alien parents.

ICE personnel should ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement activities do not unneccessarily disrupt the parental rights of both alien parents or legal guardians of minor children.

The full directive is available here