Letter to ICE and EOIR Regarding Remote Legal Access and Representation During COVID-19 Pandemic

Letter to ICE and EOIR Regarding Remote Legal Access and Representation During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2020

More than 100 other organizations urged the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to immediately authorize the robust and automatic use of remote options for immigration court appearances and attorney-client meetings. 

The letter comes after a policy went into effect requires that attorneys meeting with clients in ICE detention centers bring their own personal protective equipment in order to be allowed into the facilities.

The recommendations come after ICE and EOIR’s own decision to continue detention and to keep the immigration court offices open, putting everyone’s health at risk.  

The letter calls this new policy “alarming” and says that “the suggestion that such equipment be diverted from first responders who are already facing such a critical shortage is particularly unreasonable and unhelpful.”  According to the letter, “ICE and EOIR could instead choose to uniformly utilize telephonic and [video] appearance procedures." 

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