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DHS Guidance on Limiting ICE Enforcement In or Near Courthouses

On April 27, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas directed ICE and CBP to limit civil immigration enforcement actions in or near courthouses. According to Secretary Mayorkas, a civil immigration enforcement action may be taken in or near a courthouse only in certain limited instances, including the following:

  1. It involves a national security threat

  2. There is an imminent risk of death, violence, or physical harm to any person

  3. It involves the hot pursuit of an individual who poses a threat to public safety

  4. There is an imminent risk of destruction of evidence material to a criminal case


In the absence of hot pursuit, a civil immigration enforcement action also may be taken in or near a courthouse against an individual who poses a threat to public safety if:

  1. It is necessary to take the action in or near the courthouse because a safe alternative location for such action does not exist or it would be too difficult to achieve the enforcement action at such a location, and

  2. The action has been approved in advance by a Field Office Director, Special Agent in Charge, Chief Patrol Agent, or Port Director.

In New York State, the Protect Our Courts Act (POCA)(S425A/A2176A) prohibits Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, absent a judicial warrant, from making civil immigration arrests for any reason while an individual is going to, is attending, or is leaving New York State Courts. We discussed the POCA in further detail in a separate blog post linked below.


RIAC Blog Post on POCA: https://www.hudsonvalleyriac.com/post/protect-our-courts-act-signed-into-law


DHS Guidance to Limit ICE and CBP Enforcement Near Courthouses: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/04/27/dhs-announces-new-guidance-limit-ice-and-cbp-civil-enforcement-actions-or-near


Joint Memorandum from ICE and CBP: https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ciEnforcementActionsCourthouses2.pdf


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