Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) opened the Berks Family Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania in 2001 to accommodate noncitizen families in ICE custody. This facility was retro-fitted for families who were placed in administrative immigration proceedings and subject to mandatory detention. The Center is an effective and humane alternative to maintain the family unity as families await the outcome of immigration hearings or return to home countries.
After analyzing the family detention operations in conjunction with applicable state statutes that specifically affect children, ERO began formulating standards to address the unique nature of families held in ERO custody. While developing these standards, ERO solicited guidance from medical, psychological and educational subject matter experts while collaborating with various organizations that included the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and many non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In late 2007, ERO approved the Family Residential Standards which contain many revisions based on public comments.
View the ICE family residential standards.