ICE announces updated phased return to social visitation at detention facilities
WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) has initiated an updated phased return to social visitation in its detention facilities consistent with federal, state, and local guidelines. This implementation is a collaborative effort between individual facilities and local field offices nationwide. The COVID phased visitation process remains fluid, considering local conditions and updates to CDC guidance, to include the CDC Community Level as determined by the CDC COVID-19 Integrated County View available online, as well as staffing, and other limitations of each facility.
Those seeking social visitation will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature checked; sick or symptomatic individuals will not be admitted into facilities for the purpose of social visitation. Additionally, detainees and visitors will be required to exercise proper hand hygiene pre- and post-visit and wear appropriate face coverings and other applicable personal protective equipment (as described by the CDC) at all times within facilities.
The agency suspended non-essential visitation at the onset of the pandemic in a concentrated effort to minimize infection and transmission rates – ICE will continue to apply CDC guidance through its Pandemic Response Requirements (PRR), regularly communicating with senior medical leadership across the federal government on overarching detention health standards. Recognizing the impact of limiting in-person visitation over the last two years, the agency increased how it facilitated personal communications for detained individuals through extended access to teleconferencing, video visitation (e.g., Skype, FaceTime), email, and/or tablets with extended hours wherever possible.
This updated facility phase guidance is specific to “social visitation” and does not apply to legal visitation which falls under separate guidance.
All common areas in facilities continue to be cleaned daily; tables, chairs, and other high-traffic areas will be disinfected between visitation groups. Those interested in social visitation information at can visit ICE.gov to contact local field offices.