Many of the people we visit in detention lack legal representation, they are representing themselves pro se. While most of our volunteers are neither attorneys nor DOJ accredited representatives, we seek to support detained migrants however we can. Requests for sample stay of removal filings and instructions on how craft a pro se stay of removal motion are among the more common document requests that our volunteers receive. This post rounds up a few of the resources we’ve found more useful.
As visitor volunteers advocating on the behalf of detained individuals, often times it is useful to know if the person we are visiting or writing to is still detained or clearly know the status of their case. This post describes resources for determining if and where a person is detained as well as looking up various details about an individuals immigration case status. It is important to realize that these are very personal pieces of information and it is essential to remain mindful of people’s privacy as detained individuals are very vulnerable. Understanding what can be accessed via a person’s A# underscores reasons for not sharing that information publicly without first having that individual’s informed consent.
A question that came up at the December 9th 2018 volunteer meeting is, are detention centers required to supply documents relevant to country conditions and Department of State (DOS) Human Rights (HR) reports specifically? The short answer is a clear and unambiguous “Yes”. For those unfamiliar with these documents, they are briefly described. In addition, specific ICE detention standards detailing the fact that the documents must be supplied are cited, and finally a case is made that this is yet another issue that needs close monitoring.
Tuesday November 6, 2018 was the monthly program coordinators conference call for FFI’s national network of local programs. During this month’s call, one of the primary themes was advocating for detained migrants with disabilities. Relevant information from that discussion is presented below along with key portions of the ICE detention standards.ICE is required to make “reasonable accommodation” for individuals they detain who have disabilities. The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center has a page on the Rights of Detained Immigrants with Disabilities. In terms of what constitutes a disability, many of us are familiar with mobility and vision issues. However, disability covers a far wider spectrum of conditions that can include certain kinds of mental health conditions, cognitive impairment, or things like diabetes that we might generally consider “medical” issues. These conditions can also constitute disabilities for which ICE is required to make “reasonable accommodation”.
Recently, a volunteer asked about a detained individual’s personal items that included identity documents, money, and a copy of the Quran. The following post cites portions of the current ICE standards as a reference that volunteers can consider when evaluating if ICE agents are following ICE rules regarding the personal property of detained individuals.