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ICE Parental Interests Directive

On August 23, 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued the Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities Directive (Parental Interests Directive). This directive complements existing policy by helping ICE better manage and track cases involving detained alien parents or legal guardians who have minor children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, or are primary caretakers of minor children without regard to the dependent's citizenship. The directive guides the agency to enforce immigration laws fairly and with respect for a parent's/guardian's rights and responsibilities. 

The Parental Interests Directive contains several elements related to the operations of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices' handling of cases involving primary caretakers, parents or legal guardians of minor children, and particularly focuses on aliens involved in family court or child welfare proceedings. These elements include, among others:

  1. Designating a specific point of contact within each field office for parental-interests matters;
  2. Promoting complete entry of relevant case information into ICE's data and tracking systems;
  3. Developing processes to regularly identify and review cases involving parents, legal guardians and primary caretakers;
  4. Determining detention placement;
  5. Facilitating court participation;
  6. Allowing parent-child visitation; and
  7. Accommodating the arrangements of parents, legal guardians, or primary caretakers who are facing pending removal for the care and travel arrangements of their children.

No Private Right Statement

While this overview of the Parental Interests Directive addresses its effect on certain parents, legal guardians and primary caretakers, the directive applies to ICE and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil or criminal matter. The security and safety of any ICE employee, detainee, ICE detention staff or member of the public will be paramount in the exercise of the procedures and requirements of the directive.

  • View the Parental Interests Directive here
  • View the Parental Interests Directive Fact Sheet
    • English (PDF | 219 KB)
    • Español (PDF | 167 KB)

Anyone may contact ICE on parental interests matters, including but not limited to: detained alien parents, legal guardians or primary caretakers of minor children in the United States; family or child dependency court officials; social workers or other child welfare authorities; immigration attorneys; family law attorneys; and other child welfare or immigration advocates.

  • Prior to contacting ICE headquarters on your parental interests concern or question, you should first try to resolve your request or concern at the field level through one of our 24 Parental Interests Field Liaisons.
    Submit an email inquiry or request to the outreach mailbox of any one of our 24 field offices. Note: Enter into the subject line of the email, "Parental Interests Inquiry." If you need to contact ICE by phone, see below for information on the Detention Reporting and Information Line.
  • If your attempts to resolve your concerns or request at the field level fail, you may send an email to ERO at ICE Headquarters: ERO.INFO@ice.dhs.gov. Note: Enter "Parental Interests Inquiry" into the subject line of the email.
  • You may also contact ICE Headquarters by calling the ICE Detention Reporting and Information Line at 1-888-351-4024 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Note: State that your request is a "Parental Interests Inquiry." Bilingual (English/Spanish) operators are available. If necessary, interpretation services are also available to communicate with individuals in other languages.
  • If you elect not to send your request or inquiry through either the ERO Info Mailbox or by contacting the ICE Detention Reporting and Information Line, you may send your inquiry via U.S. Mail to the following address:

    ATT: Parental Rights Coordinator
    ERO Custody Programs
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    Mailstop: 5125
    500 12th St., SW
    Washington, D.C. 20536

    Note: Sending via standard mail could take up to 10 business days or more due to screening procedures.