ICE hosts NGOs to discuss parental, guardianship rights for minor children, incapacitated adults
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE) hosted a virtual stakeholder engagement Aug. 3 with more than 30 individuals representing various nongovernmental organizations – the engagement was held at the request of stakeholders to expand on the July announcement updating the policy, procedures, and requirements for agency officers and special agents to preserve access to family visitation and child welfare services and to hear feedback. A follow up meeting will be held in Q4 of the calendar year to continue to dialog and provide feedback to comments received.
Those in attendance included: ABA Center on Children and the Law, Al Otro Lado, American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Casey Family Programs, Center for Law and Social Policy, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Kids in Need of Defense, Immigration and Children’s Rights – First Focus on Children, Immigrant Justice Project, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Indigent Defense Services, Legal Aid Justice Center, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, Ohio Immigrant Alliance, Women's Refugee Commission, and Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.
Program subject-matter experts joined call participants and answered questions regarding ICE Directive 11064.3, Parental Interest of Noncitizens Parents and Legal Guardians of Minor Children or Incapacitated Adults, that ensures when a parent or legal guardian is arrested or detained for a civil immigration proceeding that the noncitizen can maintain visitation with their child or incapacitated adult for whom they serve as guardian, coordinate their care, and participate in any related court or child welfare proceedings.
While this month’s engagement touched on prosecutorial discretion, it focused on the Directive’s:
- Expansion of the definition of covered individuals to noncitizen parents or legal guardians of incapacitated adults;
- Development of training in coordination with ICE’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and others; and
- Facilitation of the return of noncitizen parents or legal guardians where there is verifiable evidence indicating a hearing or hearings related to the termination of their parental rights or guardianship is/are pending and/or ongoing in the U.S.
OPE coordinates outreach efforts with the public, key stakeholders, and ICE leadership to increase awareness of ICE's mission, while building relationships and fostering trust in our communities.