Council and Partners Call on ICE to Ensure Due Process in Operation Horizon


November 5, 2021

The American Immigration Council and five other organizations sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding "Operation Horizon"— its plan to mail Notices to Appear (NTA) to individuals released from the border.

The letter expressed concern that the plan could lead to a significant number of individuals wrongfully ordered removed “in absentia” if they do not receive the NTA and subsequently miss a hearing before an immigration judge, especially if they are not represented by an attorney. The organizations urged ICE to reconsider the plan and explore alternative means for contacting individuals issued Notices to Report (NTR), such as calling any phone number provided by the individual first, sending a new NTR prior to the issuance of an NTA, or working with local community stakeholders on outreach to individuals issued NTRs. In the case that ICE does go forward with Operation Horizon, the letter recommended steps the agency should take to ensure that individuals who do not receive proper notice of their hearing are not ordered removed "in absentia". 

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