The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on the immigration detention system and the immigration courts. On this page you will find updates related to detention, release from detention, the operation of the immigration courts, and legal arguments related to COVID-19.
Parole During COVID-19
ICE continues to hold tens of thousands of non-citizens in immigration prisons across the country -- in crowded conditions with no protection from COVID-19. In this webinar, attorneys from the Immigration Justice Campaign explain how to seek release from immigration detention via parole, with a specific focus on seeking parole during the pandemic.
This template, which is based on a template prepared by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, is a request parole for clients who have medical conditions or are otherwise medically vulnerable to COVID-19. This can be used even if you have previously requested parole or bond.
Watch our webinar recording to learn about what is happening in immigration detention centers and immigration courts around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what you can do to help.
Samples and Supporting Documents
On April 20, 2020, the Central District of California District Court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction ordering ICE to make timely reviews of custody for anyone who has a risk factor for coronavirus. The order lays out what those risk factors are (pg. 21 footnote) and instructs ICE to review the custody of anyone with a risk factor.
C.V. for Dr. Carlos Franco-Paredes, infectious disease specialist and author of preceding letter on risks of detention for people at high risk of COVID-19, to be used in release requests for people at high medical risk during the pandemic.
Letter from Infectious Disease Specialist About Risks of Detention for People at High Risk of COVID-19
This letter lays out who is considered at high risk in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the risks of detention during the pandemic especially for those at high risk. This letter, along with Dr. Franco-Paredes' c.v., may be used to accompany release requests for anyone in the high risk categories he outlines.
Immigration Court Practice
In this video roundtable, four expert practitioners (including a former immigration judge) discuss tips and strategies for representing clients remotely in their immigration court proceedings.
Immigration courts around the country have been issuing standing orders around telephonic appearances and requests for continuances in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. EOIR is adding these orders to the Immigration Court Practice Manual, Appendix R.
AILA Practice Alert: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements for Attorneys in Detained Courts
AILA provides a practice alert on ICE's personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for attorneys in detained courts.
A practice alert on arguing for "humanitarian asylum" in cases with past persecution and the potential in the future for "other serious harm" related to coronavirus.
Advocacy and Litigation
Visit our COVID-19 Advocacy page to learn about the ways we are protecting access to justice for detained immigrants during the pandemic.
Index of SamplesReview our collection of sample resources.
The American Immigration Council warns non-citizens to guard against spoofing phone calls from ill-intended individuals seeking to create panic among our immigrant community. To learn more, please go to scam.immigrationcouncil.org.