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ICE Detained Parents Directive


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The Directive entitled Detention and Removal of Alien Parents or Legal Guardians (Detained Parents Directive) provides guidance regarding the detention and removal of alien parents and legal guardians of a minor child(ren), to include those who have a direct interest in family court or child welfare proceedings in the United States. It is intended to complement the detention standards and policies that govern the intake, detention, and removal of alien parents or legal guardians.
Read the Directive >>

The Detained Parents Directive contains several elements related to the operations of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices' handling of cases of 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 matters involving detained parents;
  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 and legal guardians of minor child(ren);
  4. Determining initial detention placement and transfer decisions;
  5. Facilitating court participation in family court or child welfare proceedings;
  6. Facilitating regular parent-child visitation and communication; and
  7. Coordinating care or travel of minor child(ren) pending removal of a parent or legal guardian

No Private Right Statement

While this overview of the Detained Parents Directive addresses its effect on certain parents and legal guardians, 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 Detained Parents Directive here
  • View the Detained Parents Fact Sheet for Child Welfare Stakeholders (PDF | 88 KB)
  • View the Detained Parents Fact Sheet
    • English (PDF | 219 KB)
    • Español (PDF | 45 KB) (Las Normas y Procedimientos que Involucran a los Padres que están Detenidos y a los Tutores Legales)

Anyone may contact ICE on matters involving detained parents, including but not limited to: detained alien parents or legal guardians 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.

  • You may direct your parental interests concern or question directly to the field office 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.
  • You may send an email to ERO at ICE Headquarters at parental.interests@ice.dhs.gov
  • 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.
  • You may send your inquiry via U.S. Mail to the following address:

    ATT: Child Welfare 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.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/14/2020