The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced significant changes in how it will handle cases of migrant families. In a public statement, the agency outlined its plans for the process known as Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM).
At the heart of this new protocol is the aim to provide a clear and expedited process for migrant families. According to ICE, the head of each detained family will be subject to continuous monitoring through a GPS ankle monitor and a curfew while their case is determined. This process is carried out with the goal of avoiding prolonged detention.
Most significant in this announcement is that if the government’s determination is negative, families will be deported from the country within a maximum of 30 days. This measure is part of ICE’s commitment to “impose immigration consequences in a safe and humane way to those who illegally enter the United States,” according to the words of ICE’s Associate Executive Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Corey Price.
The FERM process is open to families who are in the process of accelerated expulsion, originate from countries to which ICE maintains regular expulsion flights, and reside in a place under the jurisdiction of the ICE field office based in one of the four FERM destination cities.
This announcement comes at a critical time, as the situation at the border with Mexico is expected to become chaotic following the end of the Title 42 rule. This rule, which allowed the immediate expulsion of the majority of migrants, was activated during the COVID-19 pandemic and will expire on May 11th at 11:59 pm, Washington D.C. time.
President Joe Biden has acknowledged the potential challenges, warning that the situation at the border “will be chaotic for a while”. However, the federal government has been taking proactive steps to manage this transition. A week ago, it announced an agreement with Mexico to allow the deportation of immigrants who illegally enter the United States.
The Mexican government has pledged to continue accepting deported migrants for humanitarian reasons. As the situation evolves, it is evident that immigration policies and procedures are constantly changing and adapting to current circumstances. ICE’s clarity and transparency in its procedures is a crucial step in ensuring that migrant families understand the process and know what they are facing.