Changes in ICE Policy and Practice


Before the Biden administration even took office, we knew U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) would likely undergo sweeping reform in their policies and practices, and that has definitely come to fruition, as evidenced by the interim guidance memo recently released which covers enforcement and removal policies and priorities. These shifts in practice impact the immigrant community, especially those facing criminal charges.

Do you have a clean slate?

Amongst ICE changes in practices is the shift on whom they deem a priority enforcement. Prior to the current administration, we would saw an overreach in justice in the place of the leniency we are seeing now. A basic tenement of that is the increased likelihood for release and bonds. If you’re confronted by ICE in jail, whether the arrest is from something small or more serious, and have been in the U.S. before November 1, 2020 and have never been convicted of an aggravated felony, ICE may not place a detainer on you. They are now taking into account your criminal history, or lack thereof, and trying to get a better understanding of each case before placing a detainer, and there’s very much a possibility of them releasing you or giving an immigration bond.

Spots on Your Record?

All of what we’ve discussed here so far sounds great for immigrants without a troubled past, but what if you have some questionable offenses on your record? If you have previous offenses that you think may count you out on the opportunity for release or bond, it’s more important for you than ever before to have an experienced criminal AND immigration attorney to navigate those waters for you. Sweeping policy change happens fast, and you need attorneys who are well-practiced in keeping up with those changes on a daily basis and interpreting them for best practical use for their clients. Don’t rule yourself out for options because of your past. We are here to assess your individual case, which ICE will now more carefully review.

At Peek Law Group, we receive dozens of detention calls each day regarding getting out, posting bonds, moving, etc., and those questions are not easily answered unless you’ve personally seen and handled hundreds of these kinds of cases. It is only through the successful handling of these types of criminal/immigrant combination cases that we are poised to effectively communicate details of each case with ICE, possibly details of your case and life you didn’t know were relevant.

If you or someone you know is facing difficult decisions on the strategy of their criminal charges as an immigrant, we’d be happy to review your case, even if you’ve already consulted another attorney and are unsure if they’re knowledgeable of the latest changes in ICE practice, as well as criminal law reform.

We’re very hopeful about all the updates and changes from this new administration and what that means for the immigrant community. Continue to watch our social media channels and our Immigration Wednesdays segment as we continue to follow these changes in immigration policy and practice, and do not hesitate to contact us if you have even a hint of concern about your current immigrant criminal defense strategy.

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