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ICE uses civil fines to target people in sanctuary

  1. Date Announced

    June 19, 2018

    ICE delegated authority for the imposition of civil fines for failure to depart and issued a directive on how such fines are imposed. The 2018 delegation of authority regarding civil penalties to depart was from Acting ICE Director Homan to, inter alia, Field Office Directors. There was also a subsequent delegation order: ICE Delegation No. 006-2020, Delegation of Authority to Administer Certain Provisions Relating to Civil Penalties for Failure to Depart.

    [ID #1220]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    June 19, 2018
  3. Subsequent Action

    June 27, 2019

    Email obtained through FOIA showing ICE implementation of policy against people in sanctuary.

    2019.06.27 [Email]
  4. Subsequent Action

    October 23, 2019

    ICE reportedly withdraws multiple fines issued to immigrants with removal orders who sought sanctuary in churches, in a reversal of Trump's January 2017 order directing ICE to collect fines.

    ICE tried to fine immigrants living in sanctuary churches. Now, it’s backing down.
  5. Biden Administration Action

    April 23, 2021

    This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On April 23, 2021, DHS, at the discretion of Secretary Mayorkas, rescinded two delegation orders related to the collection of civil financial penalties for noncitizens who fail to depart the U.S., stating they run counter to the agency's best interest.

    2021.04.23 DHS Announces Rescission of Civil Penalties for Failure-to-Depart
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Sanctuary Restrictions
Agencies Affected: ICE

Prior Policies

  • Sec. 6. Civil Fines and Penalties. As soon as practicable, and by no later than one year after the date of this order, the Secretary shall issue guidance and promulgate regulations, where required by law, to ensure the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.

    Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

Subsequent Actions

Biden Administration Action

  1. Associated or Derivative Policies


Briefing Guide: FOIA Documents Reveal ICE’s Use Of Civil Fines To Target Immigrant Leaders In Sanctuary

Center for Constitutional Rights' briefing guide on this policy and its implementation.

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