INS issues new guidelines to decrease immigration detentions

On December 21, 2012 the INS director issued new guidelines for field officers, limiting the instances when individuals would be detained for immigration holds; this new guideline is attached, and limits detentions to those aliens arrested when:

  • the individual has a prior felony conviction or has been charged with a felony offense;
  • the individual has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions;
  • the individual has a prior misdemeanor conviction or has been charged with a
  • misdemeanor offense ifthe misdemeanor conviction or pending charge involveso violence, threats, or assault;
  • sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
  • unlawful flight from the scene of an accident;
  • unlawful possession or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon;
  • the distribution or trafficking of a controlled substance; or
  • other significant threat to public safety;
  • • the individual has been convicted of illegal entry pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1325;
  • • the individual has illegally re-entered the country after a previous removal or return;
  • • the individual has an outstanding order of removal;
  • • the individual has been found by an immigration officer or an immigration judge to have
  • knowingly committed immigration fraud; or
  • • the individual otherwise poses a significant risk to national security, border security, or
  • public safety.

This is a major change form past policies on detentions, since nearly everyone was detained and bonded under the previous guideline.  This change in policy was generated immediately after the election, and it is another strong indication there are major change ahead in the way the country deals with non-citizens.

The entire published guideline can be found here: 2012-12-28-ICE memo-Dec 21, 2012-Re Relaxation of Detainers.