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Enforcement

State Map on Immigration Enforcement

This map focuses on state laws that regulate the state’s involvement in immigration enforcement. The map looks at what these policies do, where they are, where they aren’t, and what is left open.

The Department of Homeland Security detains and deports hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year. The massive immigration enforcement regime has devastating effects on immigrant families and communities. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has been at the forefront of campaigns locally and nationally to fight back against immigration enforcement and protect immigrant rights. 

The ILRC provides resources and support to communities and organizations working on immigration enforcement issues, including background explanations, strategy tools for campaigns, legal and policy analyses, and ongoing assistance to campaigns fighting against unfair immigration enforcement.

Latest Resources

Public Comments / Sign-on Letters
Resources
Publication Date
10/06/2022
Sample questions about the sheriff’s policy positions on working with ICE that advocates or community members can use at candidate forums or other meetings. For more background information about sheriffs and their role in the deportation pipeline, see: https://www.ilrc.org/role-sheriffs-and-arrest-deportation-pipeline
Toolkit & Reports
Resources
Publication Date
09/29/2022
ICE has built and expanded a massive infrastructure of immigration jails, surveillance programs, and enforcement agents. The current enforcement-centered response to migration, supported by ever-increasing Congressional appropriations, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deportations each year. Over the last two decades, the budget for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), which includes its account for immigration detention, has quadrupled. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, detention levels hit historic peaks of more than 50,000 people per day.
FAQs & Explainers
Resources
Publication Date
09/26/2022
This one-page guide provides an overview of Prosecutorial Discretion and how it can be applied when someone has come in contact with ICE.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
06/29/2022
Filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is a crucial step for many noncitizens facing removal because it is the last opportunity to obtain a favorable decision from the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Often, reviewing the immigration judge’s decision for errors is a daunting task. It can be difficult to separate identifying issues to appeal, from the overwhelming sense of injustice that can result from a negative decision. This advisory will focus on reviewing decisions by Immigration Judges (IJs) and identifying issues to raise on appeal to the BIA. The goal is to equip practitioners with a framework to look for errors where the IJ has denied relief or otherwise ordered removal.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
06/23/2022
This advisory provides an overview of ICE’s new “victim-centered” approach to immigration enforcement based on an August 2021 directive, including who qualifies as a victim and which ICE actions are covered. As part of this new approach, ICE officers and agents are instructed to look out for and in various circumstances exercise prosecutorial discretion in favor of noncitizen survivors of crime as part of their decisions to arrest, detain, release, and refer noncitizens.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
07/25/2022
On April 3, 2022, ICE Principal Legal Advisor Kerry Doyle issued guidance to all OPLA attorneys on how and when to exercise prosecutorial discretion in removal proceedings under DHS’s enforcement priorities. That guidance took effect on April 25, 2022 and replaces the previous OPLA guidance issued by former Principal Legal Advisor John Trasviña in May 2021. The Doyle guidance presents new opportunities for practitioners to seek positive outcomes for clients facing deportation, while also presenting some new challenges. This practice advisory provides key information on the Doyle memo and practice tips on advocating for prosecutorial discretion for clients in removal proceedings. The advisory also includes information on the ongoing litigation challenging DHS’s enforcement priorities and how that litigation may affect OPLA’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
06/08/2022
This advisory lays out some of the main “pros” and “cons” to applying for U nonimmigrant status for crime victims as they exist now, to help prospective applicants weigh the benefits and risks of applying. “Pros” include direct benefits of temporary lawful status, employment authorization, protection from removal, a pathway to a green card that is not barred by almost any grounds of inadmissibility, and the ability to help family members obtain immigration status. Additional “pros” include special confidentiality provisions, eligibility for public benefits, eligibility for the Central American Minors program, and special consideration by ICE, among other collateral benefits. “Cons” include very long processing times and vulnerability to divergent discretionary decisions during fluctuations in enforcement priorities and other policies in the many years it takes to get a decision.
FAQs & Explainers
Resources
Publication Date
04/20/2022
 In Texas, Black and Latinx migrants are being harmed by Operation Lone Star- an unconstitutional and racist law enforcement operation that is criminalizing migrants who are seeking safety in the U.S. border. Operation Lone Star is a complex scheme involving multiple law enforcement agencies in the state. This comprehensive resource explains how Operation Lonestar is being implemented and funded, explains why this operation is illegal and unconstitutional, highlights how this scheme expands the carceral and enforcement systems, and how it’s harming entire border communities.
FAQs & Explainers
Resources
Publication Date
07/22/2022
Another federal court has issued an injunction against DHS enforcement policies. Below is a quick summary to help you keep up. This court order does not change current policies as much as you might think. You can, and should, continue to advocate for prosecutorial discretion for your clients and community members.
Practice Advisory
Resources
Publication Date
01/24/2022
What are ICE detainers, how do they affect a criminal case, and how can counsel get rid of them?  This advisory walks through all the legal and practices issues around ICE detainers, including the role of ICE in issuing them and the role of local or state jailors in responding.  We discuss the importance of incorporating ICE detainers into pre-trial strategy, the legal and constitutional issues implicated by ICE detainers, and the various ways to challenge or rescind a detainer.  This advisory is national; it identifies various different state laws affecting ICE detainers. 
Public Comments / Sign-on Letters
Resources
Publication Date
12/21/2021
On December 21, 2021, the ILRC submitted comments raising concerns on the form that ICE plans to utilize to allow the public to submit tips on suspicious or criminal activity. ILRC raised concerns with ICE’s use of this form given the high likelihood that information submitted will be unreliable or outright false, which has the potential to significantly harm immigrant communities. Particularly at risk are communities that have been historically targeted for hate crimes and targeted by ICE for discriminatory purposes as well as domestic violence survivors and immigrant communities already vulnerable to exploitation. The comment urges ICE to discontinue the use of this form.

ILRC Resources on 287(g)

Check out our map of 287(g) agreements and various resources to fight 287(g) in your community.

National Map of Local Entanglement with ICE

A map showing the degree to which local policies limit assistance in immigration enforcement