On 10/24/2017 The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) NJ Immigration and Customs Enforcement Committee, chaired by Lloyd Bennett, Esq., met with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) NJ Field Office Director (FOD) and key staff members to discuss issues of concern to immigration attorneys and their clients. ICE is responsible for enforcing the nations immigration laws. It identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains those individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the US. The agency currently employs over 20,000 agents in 400 offices in the US and 46 foreign countries. It has an annual budget of $6 billion dollars. If President Trump succeeds the agency will more than double in size and operation.
The meeting was critical as many agencies have stopped meeting with its stake holders. AILA-NJ has always had a close relationship with the NJ FOD and staff and we appreciate the continued opportunity to meet and discuss issues of concern. Our discussion covered the increased rates of detention within the community as a result of President Trump's updated ICE priority guidance. This guidance authorized ICE to detain those who have simply been charged but not convicted of certain crimes and allows ICE greater discretion to detain those encountered during its daily operations in the community who may not necessarily be the targets of their operation. We also discussed the difficulty obtaining stays after removal orders are signed along with the criteria for waivers, prosecutorial discretion and the future of enforcement against DACA card holders.
While we might not always agree with the government we welcome the opportunity to have open discussions in an effort to find common ground and better advise our clients.