Skip to main content

An official website of the United States government

December 2, 2020Seattle, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE utilizing New Intake Monitoring housing units to protect detainees from illness

SEATTLE - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has implemented the New Intake Monitoring housing unit, or NIMs, to further prevent the introduction or spread of illness within the Northwest ICE Processing Center (NWIPC).

In order to further protect those who live and work within the NWIPC, all incoming detainees who do not require isolation monitoring due to possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure are placed into one of three separate NIMs housing units for 14 days of medical monitoring for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

There are separate male and female NIMs units, housing up to four detainees per unit. As clinically permitted, NIMs units also provide access to the programs and services available to the general population, including regular visits from medical staff, religious services, access to mental health services, legal services, radio, television, reading materials, telephones, recreation and commissary to the fullest extent possible.

“The fact that we have had zero COVID positive test results stemming from within the general detainee population of the NWIPC is extremely important to note,” said ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Seattle Field Office Director Nathalie Asher. “That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because of the thoughtful creation of the NIMs unit and because of the dedicated staff working every day to protect those housed within its walls.”

Detainees being housed within the NIMs unit and within the general population of the NWIPC are not authorized to interact during the 14-day observation period.

Once the observation period has passed without any detainees in a unit displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19, the detainees are reassigned to general population housing units in the facility while they await the outcome of their immigration removal proceedings.

Aliens in removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

The immigration laws of the United States allow aliens to pursue relief from removal; however, once they have exhausted all due process and appeals, they remain subject to a final order of removal from an immigration judge and that order must be carried out.

ICE is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal, state, and local agencies to facilitate a speedy, whole-of-government response in confronting Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), keeping everyone safe, and helping detect and slow the spread of the virus.

Updated: 12/03/2020