On August 23, 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued the Facilitating Parental Interests in the Course of Civil Immigration Enforcement Activities Directive (Parental Interests Directive). This directive complements existing policy by helping ICE better manage and track cases involving detained alien parents or legal guardians who have minor children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, or are primary caretakers of minor children without regard to the dependent's citizenship. The directive guides the agency to enforce immigration laws fairly and with respect for a parent's/guardian's rights and responsibilities.
The Parental Interests Directive contains several elements related to the operations of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices' handling of cases involving primary caretakers, 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:
No Private Right Statement
While this overview of the Parental Interests Directive addresses its effect on certain parents, legal guardians and primary caretakers, 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.
Anyone may contact ICE on parental interests matters, including but not limited to: detained alien parents, legal guardians or primary caretakers 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.