ICE Implements New Parental Interest Directive

At a time when Prosecutorial Discretion is being utilized in a multitude of fashions by the Dept. of Homeland Security, earlier today, a new Directive - Parental Interest Directive - was issued. This Directive is aimed towards directing ICE Officers (and Enforcement and Removal Officers,a part of ICE) towards utilizing a degree of discretion when it comes to undocumented parents with minor children so as to not 'unnecessarily interrupt the parental rights of both alien parents or legal guardians'. (While the 2011 Morton PD Memo discusses this favorable factor, this Directive is aimed at complementing the PD Memo and providing additional guidance when it comes to undocumented parents with minor children in the U.S.)

As stated in the Directive, the Directive is particularly concerned with the placement, monitoring, accomodation, and removal of certain alien parents or legal guardians who are: 1. primary caretakers of minor children, without regard to the dependent's citizenship; 2. parents and legal guardians who have a direct interest in family court proceedings involving a minor or child welfare proceedings in the United States; and 3. parents and legal guardians whose minor children are U.S. Citizens (USC's) or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR's).

What does this mean? It means that if you have a family member who is currently being detained by ICE, and who is the parent or legal guardian of a minor child in the U.S., this may be an additional favorable factor to help tip the scale towards requesting that ICE exercise favorable discretion.