Please subscribe to our US Citizenship and Family Immigration Podcast on Itunes. This is a transcript of Episode #2 in which we take a look at the language in the new I-247.
Hello and welcome to episode number two of the Lee & Garasia Immigration Podcast. My name is Paris Lee. Today I want to talk about the PEP program. If you’ve been following my blog, I did write about this before. The PEP program stands for the Priority Enforcement Program and actually what it does is, it replaces the Secure Communities Program. Secure Communities is no longer in operation. So what does this mean in practical terms for somebody who is in jail, and is afraid that ICE might lodge a detainer?
Well, it’s not as easy anymore for ICE to lodge a detainer given the changes that are mandated by this new program. The I-247 form is actually no longer in operation. It’s been replaced by the I-247D and the I-247N.
For today, I want to talk about the I-247D. Actually the I-247N, let’s talk about that first and what this is, is basically a request for voluntary notification of release of suspected priority alien. So, there are no more orders, (well, there never was an order anyway but a lot of times the detainers were interpreted as orders to hold the person in the jail or facility until ICE could take over custody). This kind of clarifies that at least for the I-274N (as in Nancy) that this is merely a request for notification. So basically, let’s go over this form and see what it says. Number 1, the officer who is filling out this form to be served on the jail or holding facility has to check off one of these boxes in box number 1 and here is what it reads: Number 1, DHS suspects that the subject is a removable alien and that the subject is an immigration enforcement priority because he or she… and here is where the officer has to check off at least one of these boxes, so I’m going to go over the boxes one by one now. Has engaged in or is suspected of terrorism or espionage or otherwise poses a danger to national security. That’s one, another one is has been convicted of an offense of which an element was active participation in a criminal street gang or is at least 16 years old and intentionally participated in an organized criminal gang to further its illegal activities. Another category is has been convicted of an offence classified as a felony other than the state or local offence for which an essential element was the aliens immigration status. Another category is, has been convicted of an aggravated felony. Another category is, has been convicted of a significant misdemeanor as defined under DHS policy and/or has been convicted of three or more misdemeanors not including minor traffic offences and state or local offences for which immigration status was an essential element provided the offenses arise out of three separate incidents. So, the officer has to check off one of these categories or alternatively, if DHS transferred the subject to custody of the holding facility, the officer could check off this box, upon completion of the proceeding or investigation for which the subject is transferred to your custody, DHS intends to resume custody of the subject to complete processing.
I think box number two is going to be less common; most cases will fall under box number 1. So the form says that it is therefore requested that you provide notices early as practicable at least 48 hours if possible before the subject is released from your custody to allow DHS an opportunity to determine whether there is probable cause to conclude that he or she is a removable alien. This voluntary notification request does not request or authorize that you detain the subject beyond the time he or she is currently scheduled for release from your custody. This request arises from DHS authority and it should not impact decisions about the subject’s bail, rehabilitation, parole, release, diversion, custody classification, work, quarter assignments or other matters. So that is pretty much it but that’s the most important language found on this form. The thing is that the PEP program is relatively new; it just came out late last year and officers are still actually being trained on them so, the practical effects of this new program are yet to be seen but obviously as time goes by, we will have a better idea of how these things are working out.
Thank you for listening. If you have any questions about the PEP program, detention, or any immigration matter, please call our office. Our phone number is 732-516-1717 or you can visit us on the web, the web address is www.njimmigrationattorney.com
Please remember that this is not legal advice. The law is very case and fact sensitive, so if you do have an immigration problem or situation, you really need to consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your case in detail.