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ICE checking criminal backgrounds of each adult in the household of unaccompanied minors' sponsors

  1. Date Announced

    April 13, 2018

    ICE is required to notify the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to the extent practicable "within 48 hours" of any UAC sponsor's or adult household member's criminal history and provide documentation during the assessment of a sponsor's eligibility, as well as information about UACs' criminal background or behavioral concerns. [ID #318]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    April 13, 2018
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Minors Border Interior
Agencies Affected: CBP ICE ORR

Prior Policies

  • Previously, the government had only checked the criminal and immigration history of the individual applying to be a sponsor and not of every adult residing in the sponsor's household. While the share of unaccompanied children being released to parents was nearly 60% from 2014 to 2015, it had dropped to 41% in fiscal year 2018 as of April 2018.

    Release of Unaccompanied Alien Children to Sponsors in the U.S.

Commentary

Justice for Immigrants: Consequences of ORR-DHS information-sharing agreement

In May 2018, ORR, ICE, and CBP entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) mandating continuous information-sharing on unaccompanied immigrant children beginning when CBP or ICE takes them into custody through their release from ORR custody. Initially, this included information on each child’s potential sponsor (usually a family member), as well as anyone else living with the sponsor. While certain exceptions to this policy have been subsequently announced by ORR, which we understand led to the release of some children and are steps in the right direction, the MOA remains largely in place and continues to represent a dramatic change from past practice. The amended MOA continues to result in severe consequences, including prolonged lengths of stay of children in federal custody, increased costs, family separation, and increased risk of abuse or trafficking of vulnerable children. The following summarizes the MOA’s changes and their impact on children, families, and the U.S. taxpayer.

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