Alert: View AILA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

** Resource Center: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) **

COVID-19 Related Resources



AILA Resources | Samples/Template Resources | Law Firm Planning Resources | Educational Resources | AILA Correspondence and Advocacy Resources | Partner Resources | Government Announcements and Alerts | Congressional Efforts | Litigation | Detainee Release Litigation | Media Coverage | Other Documents and Resources

AILA Resources

CBP | DHS | DOL | DOS | ICE/EOIR | USCIS

CBP

DHS

DOL

DOS

ICE/EOIR

USCIS

Samples/Template Resources

  • Check out the Immigration Justice Campaign’s COVID-19 page – Continuously Updated
    • The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on the immigration detention system and the immigration courts. On this page you will find updates related to detention, release from detention, the operation of the immigration courts, and legal arguments related to COVID-19.
  • Ninth Circuit Order: “In light of the rapidly escalating public health crisis, which public health authorities predict will especially impact immigration detention centers, the court sua sponte orders that Petitioner be immediately released from detention and that removal of Petitioner be stayed pending final disposition by this court.” – March 23, 2020
  • Sample Motion for Continuance Due to COVID-19
  • National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild: Responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
    • This practice advisory intended to assist advocates seeking release of their clients from immigrant detention based on the threat COVID-19 presents to their life and health. We have included sample filings addressing the emergent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the detained immigrant population.
  • Template Parole Request in Light of COVID-19: No Medical Conditions from the Immigration Justice Campaign
    This template, which is based on a template prepared by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, is a request for parole for clients who do not have medical conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. This can be used even if you have previously requested parole or bond.
  • Template Parole Request in Light of COVID-19 for People with Medical Vulnerabilities from the Immigration Justice Campaign
    This template, which is based on a template prepared by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, is a request parole for clients who have medical conditions or are otherwise medically vulnerable to COVID-19. This can be used even if you have previously requested parole or bond.
  • C.V. for Infectious Disease Specialist from Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
    C.V. for Dr. Carlos Franco-Paredes, infectious disease specialist and author of preceding letter on risks of detention for people at high risk of COVID-19, to be used in release requests for people at high medical risk during the pandemic.
  • Letter from Infectious Disease Specialist About Risks of Detention for People at High Risk of COVID-19 from Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
    This letter lays out who is considered at high risk in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the risks of detention during the pandemic especially for those at high risk. This letter, along with Dr. Franco-Paredes' c.v., may be used to accompany release requests for anyone in the high risk categories he outlines.
  • Template Letter to Local Jail/Prison/Detention Center Administrators Regarding COVID-19 (Courtesy of ACLU’s National Prison Project; Per ACLU NPP, advocates should consider contacting their local ACLU affiliates about potential advocacy around this issue as affiliates have also received this template letter.)

Law Firm Planning Resources

Educational Resources

AILA Correspondence and Advocacy Resources

CBP | DHS | DOJ/EOIR | DOS | ICE | USCIS

CBP

DHS

DOJ/EOIR

DOS

ICE

USCIS

Partner Resources

Government Announcements and Alerts

CBP | CDC | DHS | DOL | DOS | EOIR | HHS | ICE | Presidential Documents | USCIS

CBP

Date Announcement
September 23, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico (85 FR 59669, 9/23/20)
September 23, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada (85 FR 59670, 9/23/20)
September 4, 2020 CBP to Reopen Trusted Traveler Programs Enrollment Centers on September 8
August 21, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada (85 FR 51634, 8/21/20)
August 21, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico (85 FR 51633, 8/21/20)
July 22, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada
July 22, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico
July 20, 2020 CBP Postpones Reopening of Trusted Traveler Programs Enrollment Centers
July 1, 2020 CBP Postpones Reopening of Trusted Traveler Programs Enrollment Centers
June 24, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico
June 24, 2020 CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada
May 29, 2020 The Daily Beast reporter Justin Rohrlich obtained internal CBP data on the number of employees that have been tested for COVID-19. Read more in The Daily Beast article, Internal Documents Reveal Border Patrol Infections Doubled in a Month published on May 29, 2020.
May 28, 2020 Notification of Arrival Restrictions Applicable to Flights Carrying Persons Recently Present in Brazil (85 FR 31957, 5/28/20)
May 22, 2020 CBP Notice of Continuation of Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports of Entry Between U.S. and Canada
May 22, 2020 CBP Notice of Continuation of Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports of Entry Between U.S. and Mexico
April 22, 2020 CBP Extends Temporary Closure of Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers
April 22, 2020 CBP Notice of Continuation of Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports of Entry Between U.S. and Canada (85 FR 22352, 4/22/20)
April 22, 2020 CBP Notice of Continuation of Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports of Entry Between U.S. and Mexico (85 FR 22353, 4/22/20)
April 17, 2020 CBP Announces That VWP Entrants May Apply for Extended Term of Admission
March 30, 2020 BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz shared that administration officials confirmed that the CDC order that bars the entry of those who cross into the country without authorization is being applied to unaccompanied minors and that, therefore, unaccompanied minors are also subject to be “expelled” upon encounter.
March 24, 2020 CBP Notice of Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports of Entry Between U.S. and Canada (85 FR 16548, 3/24/20)
March 24, 2020 CBP Notice of Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports of Entry Between U.S. and Mexico (85 FR 16547, 3/24/20)
March 23, 2020 San Diego Tribune reporter Kate Morrissey shared that CBP San Diego stated on a press call that there is a 48 hour suspension of MPP returnees crossing for court hearings that started the morning of March 23, 2020.
March 19, 2020 Notification of Arrival Restrictions Applicable to Flights Carrying Persons Recently Present in the UK or Ireland (85 FR 15714, 3/19/20)
March 18, 2020 CBP is temporarily suspending operations at Trusted Traveler Program enrollment centers nationwide from March 19, 2020, until at least May 1, 2020. This temporary closure includes all public access Global Entry enrollment centers, NEXUS enrollment centers, SENTRI enrollment centers, and FAST enrollment locations.
March 17, 2020 Notification of Arrival Restrictions Applicable to Flights Carrying Persons Who Have Recently Traveled From or Were Otherwise Present Within the Countries of the Schengen Area (85 FR 15059, 3/17/20)
March 13, 2020 Posted on the ESTA website: In accordance with Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus, effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020, the entry into the United States is suspended for most individuals, other than United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, who have been physically present within a Schengen Area country within 14 days of travel to the United States. Any traveler with a valid ESTA who is subject to the Proclamation and who attempts to travel the United States in violation of the Proclamation will have their ESTA canceled. ESTA will not refund applications that are canceled due to this Proclamation. Travelers who have questions about whether they are subject to, or exempted from, the Proclamation should refer to the Proclamation language, and consult with the U.S. Department of State and the air carrier, as appropriate, in advance of travel to avoid travel disruptions. Proclamation 9984 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk) and Proclamation 9992 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus) remain in effect.
March 13, 2020 CBP provided guidance to its Carrier Liaison Program on the presidential proclamation suspending entry of foreign nationals, with certain exceptions, who were present in the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, as well as information on DHS's arrival restrictions outlining the process for American citizens, LPRs, and immediate family members returning home after recently visiting certain European countries, China, and Iran, including a list of designated airports for flights carrying these individuals. Guidance is effective on March 13, 2020, at 11:59 pm (ET).
March 13, 2020 Texas Public Radio reporter Reynaldo Leaños Jr. shared a statement from CBP on the treatment of individuals apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol between the ports of entry.
March 4, 2020 Notice of Arrival Restrictions on Flights Carrying Persons Recently Traveled From China or Iran (85 FR 12731, 3/4/20)
February 7, 2020 Notification of Additional Airports for Flights Carrying Persons Who Have Recently Traveled from or Were Otherwise Present within the People’s Republic of China (85 FR 7214, 2/7/20)
February 4, 2020 Notice of Arrival Restrictions on Flights Carrying Persons Recently Present in China (85 FR 6044, 2/4/20)
February 2, 2020 DHS Issues Instructions for Inbound Flights with Individuals Who Have Been in China


CDC

Date Announcement
May 26, 2020 CDC Order Extending and Amending Order Suspending the Introduction of Certain Persons from Canada and Mexico
May 19, 2020 CDC Extends Order Suspending Introduction of Certain Persons from Countries Where a Communicable Disease Exists
April 22, 2020 CDC Order Extending Suspension of Introduction of Certain Persons Through Land Ports of Entry (85 FR 22424, 4/22/20)
March 24, 2020 Notification of CDC Order Suspending the Introduction of Persons from a Country Where Communicable Disease Exists (85 FR 16567, 3/24/20)
March 20, 2020 CDC Order Suspending Introduction of Certain Persons Through Land Ports of Entry
March 5, 2020 CDC Guidance for Travelers from China and Iran Arriving in the United States


DHS

COVID-19

COVID-19 News and Updates

Date Announcement
September 18, 2020 DHS Releases Fact Sheet on Measures on the Border to Limit the Further Spread of Coronavirus
September 15, 2020 DHS Notice Terminating Arrival Restrictions on Flights Carrying Persons Recently Present in Certain Countries (85 FR 57108, 9/15/20)
September 14, 2020 DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance
July 17, 2020 DHS/DOJ Announce Plan to Restart MPP Hearings “As Expeditiously As Possible”
June 16, 2020 DHS Acting Secretary Announces Extension of Border Restrictions
June 16, 2020 DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance
May 22, 2020 DHS Signs Exemption to Allow Certain Foreign Professional Athletes into the United States
May 21, 2020 DHS Releases Instructions for Form I-9 Completion by Employers of Certain H-2B Nonimmigrants
May 19, 2020 DHS Acting Secretary Announces Extension of Border Restrictions
May 14, 2020 DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance
May 12, 2020 DHS Announces Temporary Changes to H-2B Requirements Due to COVID-19
May 10, 2020 DHS and EOIR Postpone MPP Hearings Scheduled Through June 19, 2020
May 1, 2020 DHS Announces Temporary Policy for Form I-9 List B Documents
April 30, 2020 DHS and EOIR Postpone MPP Hearings Scheduled Through June 1, 2020
April 20, 2020 DHS Acting Secretary Announces Border Restrictions Extended for 30 Additional Days
April 15, 2020 DHS Announces Temporary Changes to H-2A Requirements
April 1, 2020 DHS and EOIR Postpone MPP Hearings Scheduled Through May 1, 2020
April 1, 2020 DHS and EOIR Postpone MPP Hearings Scheduled Through May 1, 2020
March 23, 2020 Joint DHS/EOIR Statement on MPP Rescheduling
March 20, 2020 U.S. and Mexico Temporarily Restricting Non-Essential Travel Across the Southwest Border
March 20, 2020 Temporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing the U.S.-Canada Land Border for Non-Essential Purposes
March 20, 2020 DHS Announces Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance
March 19, 2020 DHS Memo on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response
March 17, 2020 Fact Sheet: DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions on China, Iran and Certain Countries of Europe


DOL

Date Announcement
June 16, 2020 OFLC Announces Extension of Issuance of Electronic PERM Labor Certifications
June 3, 2020 DOL OFLC Releases Round Four of Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19
April 9, 2020 DOL OFLC Releases Round Three of Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19
April 1, 2020 DOL OFLC Temporarily Suspends Daily Mail Processing at Atlanta and Chicago National Processing Centers
April 1, 2020 DOL OFLC Releases Round Two of Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19
March 24, 2020 OFLC Announces Issuance of Electronic PERM Labor Certifications in Response to COVID-19
March 19, 2020 USDA and DOL Announce Partnership to Identify H-2A and H-2B Workers Who May Be Eligible to Transfer to Other Employers
March 20, 2020 DOL OFLC Releases Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19


DOS

Date Announcement
September 14, 2020 DOS Says DV-2020 Applicants May Be Processed in Embassies and Consulates
August 31, 2020 DOS Authorizes Consular Posts to Give K Visa Cases High Priority
August 25, 2020 DOS Expands Interview Waiver Eligibility
July 24, 2020 DOS Provides FAQs on SEVP Online Course Guidance for F and M Students for Fall 2020 Term
July 24, 2020 DOS Announces One-Month Extension for Immigrant Visa Medical Examinations
July 22, 2020 DOS Provides Information on National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from Europe
July 14, 2020 DOS Announces Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services
July 11, 2020 In a response to a question from a user, DOS noted on Twitter: “While some embassies and consulates may begin phased reopening on July 15, dates will vary based on local conditions. Monitor the embassy website for the latest information on the status of their visa services.”
June 1, 2020 DOS Provides Information on DHS Exemption to Allow Certain Foreign Professional Athletes into the United States
April 27, 2020 DOS Postpones Opening of Entrant Status Check for DV-2021 Applicants to June 6, 2020
April 23, 2020 DOS Provides Update Regarding Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Immigrants
April 8, 2020 DOS Provides Update on Visas for Medical Professionals
March 26, 2020 DOS Says It Intends to Continue Processing H-2 Visas as Much as Possible
March 26, 2020 DOS Provides Update on H and J Visas for Medical Professionals
March 20, 2020 DOS Announcement on Intercountry Adoption Cases During the Coronavirus Pandemic
March 20, 2020 DOS Suspends Routine Visa Services at All Consulates and Embassies
March 17, 2020 U.S. Consulate in Monterrey Addresses H-2 Processing During COVID-19 Outbreak
Marh 12, 2020 DOS Announcement on the Temporary Pause of International Exchange Programs Due to COVID-19
March 11, 2020 COVID-19 Country Specific Information from DOS


EOIR

AILA has created a separate page to track updates regarding EOIR’s operational status during the coronavirus pandemic. For additional resources, see EOIR’s webpage, EOIR's Twitter account @DOJ_EOIR, and EOIR's Facebook page. Also see EOIR’s Policy Memo 20-13: EOIR Practices Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak (6/11/2020) and information about filing by email with Immigration Courts and with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Track EOIR's Operational Status


Date Announcement
September 22, 2020 EOIR Resumes Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Los Angeles Immigration Courts
September 16, 2020 EOIR Resumes Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Charlotte, Denver, and Orlando Immigration Courts
September 2, 2020 EOIR to Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Salt Lake City Immigration Court
August 7, 2020 EOIR to Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Omaha Immigration Court
July 17, 2020 DHS/DOJ Announce Plan to Restart MPP Hearings “As Expeditiously As Possible”
July 16, 2020 EOIR to Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Arlington Immigration Court
July 9, 2020 USCIS and EOIR Proposed Rule on Pandemic-Related Security Bars to Asylum and Withholding of Removal
July 8, 2020 EOIR to Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Baltimore, Detroit, and Newark Immigration Courts
July 1, 2020 EOIR to Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Saipan Immigration Courts
June 24, 2020 EOIR to Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at Some Immigration Courts
June 22, 2020 EOIR posted the following update on Twitter on June 22, 2020, at 2:09 am (ET): “As previously announced, certain immigration courts have resumed non-detained hearings. Hearings in non-detained cases at courts without an announced date are postponed through, and including, July 10, 2020.” EOIR then replied to this Tweet with the following: “Visit EOIR’s web page for the latest operational status of courts nationwide. For case specific information, please have the relevant alien registration number and call 800-898-7180 or visit our website. https://portal.eoir.justice.gov/InfoSystem/Form?Language=EN.”
June 16, 2020 DHS and EOIR Postpone MPP Hearings Scheduled Through July 17, 2020
June 11, 2020 EOIR To Resume Hearings in Non-Detained Cases at the Honolulu Immigration Court
June 11, 2020 EOIR Updates Guidance on Immigration Court Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 18, 2020 DOJ Issues Memo with Framework for Returning to Normal Operations After COVID-19
May 15, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on May 15, 2020, at 1:30 pm (ET), that “All hearings in non-detained cases are postponed through, and including, Friday June 12, 2020. Visit EOIR’s website for the latest operational status of courts nationwide." In the tweet, EOIR linked to its page, EOIR Operational Status During Coronavirus Pandemic. EOIR sent this update via email on May 15, 2020, at 1:13 pm (ET).
May 10, 2020

DHS and EOIR issued a joint statement noting the following adjustments to the temporary postponement of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) hearings:

  • Beginning May 10, in-person document service will be suspended immediately until June 8.
  • All MPP hearings will remain postponed through, and including June 19. Individuals with a hearing date prior to June 22 should present themselves at the port of entry identified on their tear sheet one month later than the date indicated on their most recently noticed date.
  • For individuals with a hearing date of June 22 or after, there is no change in procedures and individuals should report as instructed on their tear sheets.
May 4, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on May 4, 2020, at 2:23 pm (ET) that “Hearings in non-detained cases are postponed through May 29, 2020. For the operational status of EOIR operations nationwide, please visit the EOIR website.” In the tweet, EOIR linked to its page, EOIR Operational Status During Coronavirus Pandemic. EOIR sent this update via email on May 4, 2020 at 2:22pm (ET).
April 30, 2020 Joint DHS/EOIR Statement on MPP Rescheduling
  • DOJ and DHS have extended the temporary postponement of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Hearings scheduled through, and including, June 1, 2020, will be rescheduled. As the departments continue to review conditions related to COVID-19, they will make further determinations as necessary in order to ensure that all MPP hearings can proceed as expeditiously as possible.
  • Through Monday, June 1, 2020, all individuals with MPP hearings should present themselves at port of entry indicated on their most recently noticed date to receive tear sheets and new hearing notices containing the dates of their rescheduled hearings.
April 28, 2020 The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) announced via Twitter on April 28, 2020, that “NAIJ has learned that MPP dockets will be suspended until at least May 15, 2020. No public announcement by EOIR.”
April 21, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on April 21, 2020, at 8:30 am (ET) that "Hearings in non-detained cases are postponed through May 15, 2020." EOIR also sent this update via email on April 21, 2020, at 8:31 am (ET).
April 9, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on April 9, 2020, at 2:31 pm (ET) that “The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer is now accepting filing of new complaints by email. For guidelines and more information, please see EOIR’s website.” EOIR also linked to a new page, Filing by Email – Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer in the Tweet. EOIR also sent this update via email on April 9, 2020, at 2:31 pm (ET).
April 7, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on April 7, 2020, at 12:02 pm (ET) that “The BIA is now accepting certain filings by email. For guidelines and more information, please visit EOIR’s website.” EOIR also linked to a new page, Filing by Email – Board of Immigration Appeals in the Tweet. EOIR also sent this update via email on April 7, 2020, at 12:01 pm (ET).
April 3, 2020 EOIR published a new policy memo on April 3, 2020, PM 20-11, containing updated policies for signatures on documents filed with the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
April 1, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on April 1, 2020, at 11:01 am (ET) that “Due to the pandemic and new CDC guidelines, MPP hearings scheduled through May 1, 2020, have been postponed. Individuals should present themselves on previously scheduled date to receive tear sheets and hearing notices with new hearing dates.” EOIR also linked to EOIR’s Operational Status page in the Tweet.
April 1, 2020 DHS and EOIR Postpone MPP Hearings Scheduled Through May 1, 2020
  • Due to continued circumstances related to COVID-19 and newly-issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have determined to extend the temporary postponement of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) hearings scheduled through Friday, May 1, 2020. All presently scheduled hearings will be rescheduled. The Departments will continually review conditions related to COVID-19 and will make further determinations as necessary in order to ensure that all MPP hearings can proceed as expeditiously as possible when appropriate.
  • Any individual with an MPP hearing date through Friday, May 1, 2020 should present themselves at their designated port of entry on their previously scheduled date to receive a tear sheet and hearing notice containing their new hearing dates.
March 31, 2020
  • EOIR announced via Twitter on March 31, 2020, at 6:28 pm (ET) that “EOIR has established temporary email accounts for immigration courts nationwide to facilitate electronic filing for all parties while the rollout of the EOIR Court & Appeals System (ECAS) is delayed due to COVID-19.” The tweet linked to EOIR’s new page, Filing by Email.
  • EOIR replied to the above Tweet with the following: “Those who have already opted-in to ECAS should continue to use ECAS where it is available. Others who wish to utilize electronic filing may file through email as instructed below.”
  • EOIR replied to the above Tweet with the following: “Please note EOIR cannot provide technical support or confirm receipt of filings at this time.”
  • EOIR also sent this update via email on March 31, 2020, at 6:10 pm (ET).
March 30, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on March 30, 2020, at 7:36 pm (ET) that “Hearings in non-detained cases are postponed through May 1, 2020." The Tweet linked to EOIR’s operational page. EOIR also sent this update via email on March 30, 2020 at 7:35 pm (ET).
March 26, 2020 EOIR Email Sent to Stakeholders Announcing New Listserv and the Latest Information on Current EOIR Operations (Sent on March 26, 2020, at 9:15 pm (ET))
March 26, 2020 EOIR Statement on Current Operations (Sent on March 26, 2020 at 9:10pm ET)
March 23, 2020

Joint DHS/EOIR Statement on MPP Rescheduling:

Due to circumstances resulting from COVID-19, all Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) master calendar and merit hearings presently scheduled through April 22 will be rescheduled. Neither the MPP program nor any hearings will be cancelled.

Any individual with an MPP hearing date through April 22 should present themselves at their designated port of entry on their previously scheduled date to receive a tear sheet and hearing notice containing their new hearing dates. DHS and EOIR are deeply committed to ensuring that individuals ‘have their day in court’ while also ensuring the health and safety of aliens, our frontline officers, immigration court professionals, and our citizens.

March 23, 2020 San Diego Tribune reporter Kate Morrissey shared that CBP San Diego stated on a press call that there is a 48 hour suspension of MPP returnees crossing for court hearings that started the morning of March 23, 2020.
March 22, 2020 At 6:20 pm (ET), ICE communicated to AILA that, generally, only those conducting in-person contact visits need personal protective equipment (PPE) (UNLESS a particular facility has more restrictive rules), but that AILA members should still check with the facility on their individual policy.
March 21, 2020 ICE added language to its COVID-19 guidance stating that “ICE/ERO now requires all legal visitors, CODELs, and STAFFDELs to provide and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) (disposable vinyl gloves, N-95 or surgical masks, and eye protection) while visiting any detention facility.” Local ICE offices have reached out to some chapters directly with similar guidance and have stated that visitors will have to provide the PPE themselves. It appears that this requirement will apply to courts operated by DHS and located in detention centers. There is no indication at this time that this requirement would apply to courts operated by EOIR and outside of detention centers.
March 20, 2020 EOIR Defers All Non-Detained Cases Until April 10, 2020, Due to COVID-19
March 19, 2020

The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) shared a letter from EOIR on Twitter that provided the following guidance:

  • At the time of the issuance of the Policy Memorandum (PM) 20-10, Immigration Court Practices During the Declared National Emergency Concerning the COVID-19 Outbreak, the Department ofState (DOS) was applying their risk indicators, including health, to all countries on an individual basis. At that time, the DOS also had in place a Global Health Advisory related to the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19. As the DOS has now abandoned the individualized evaluation of the ris k indicators in recognition of the global nature of a pandemic, the travel advisories referenced in PM 20-10 are no longer applicable to analysis as to whether an individual is permitted in EOIR space.

    At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still provide a country-specific analysis regarding level of risk. That list of CDC Level 3 countries is still applicable to PM 20-10.

March 18, 2020 EOIR issued a memo (PM-20-10, Immigration Court Practices During the Declared National Emergency Concerning the COVID-19 Outbreak) with guidance on immigration court practices during the COVID-19 outbreak, including a note that effective 3/18/20, EOIR deferred hearings for all non-detained cases until 4/10/20. On March 19, 2020, EOIR issued an addendum to PM-2010.
March 18, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on March 18, 2020, at 4:42 pm (ET) that “Emergency filing locations for the closed immigration courts are for emergencies only. Filings due during the closures will be considered timely filed if received on the courts next business day. Deadlines for open courts remain.”
March 17, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on March 17, 2020, at 11:55 pm (ET) that “Effective March 18 all non-detained hearings postponed: these immigration courts closed: ATL Peachtree, Charlotte; HOU Gessner; Louisville; Memphis; NYC, Broadway & Fed Plaza; Newark; Sacramento; LOS – Olive. Check website for updates.” Also see EOIR issued a statement released on March 18, 2020, at 12:30 am (ET).
March 17, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on March 17, 2020, at 11:52 pm (ET) that “The case info hotline and online application may not be updated for cases postponed due to operational changes during the pandemic. Information will be updated upon issuance of a new hearing notice. Court documents remain the official source of info.”
March 15, 2020 EOIR announced via Twitter on March 15, 2020, at 10:49 pm (ET) that “all non-detained aliens' master calendar hearings scheduled 03/16-04/10 are postponed. Usual operations for filings except Seattle. All other hearings proceeding.”
  • After EOIR’s announcement, NAIJ tweeted “We have been told MPP is going forward.”
March 13, 2020 Yahoo News reporter Caitlin Dickson shared a statement from an EOIR spokesperson on EOIR’s response to COVID-19.
March 13, 2020 EOIR released a statement announcing that the Seattle Immigration Court is closed through April 10, 2020. The following courts will remain open, but postpone non-detained master calendar hearings: Boston, Los Angeles (North Los Angeles, Olive, Van Nuys), Newark, New York City (Broadway; Federal Plaza; Varick), Sacramento, and San Francisco.
March 12, 2020 EOIR Director James McHenry sent AILA's EOIR Liaison Committee the following statement:
  • The Department of Justice continues to work closely with the Vice President's Task Force, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and State and Local Government leaders regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Attorneys with cases in immigration court have longstanding information readily available to them about the filing of motions to continue, which immigration judges will adjudicate based on the unique facts of each case and relevant situation to include active illnesses of all varieties. Although the operational situation may change as new information is received, immigration courts will continue to address cases, including any motions to continue, in accordance with the applicable law. Any changes to the operating status of a court will be communicated to staff, respondents, and the public.



HHS

Date Announcement
August 28, 2020 HHS Request for Comments on Continued Use of COVID-19 Risk Questionnaire for Staff and Visitors at UAC Programs (85 FR 53381, 8/28/20)
March 24, 2020 HHS Request for Comments on COVID-19 Risk Questionnaire for Staff and Visitors at UAC Programs (85 FR 16636, 3/24/20)
March 24, 2020 HHS Interim Final Rule Allowing CDC to Suspend Introduction of Persons from Designated Countries or Places (85 FR 16559, 3/24/20)
March 9, 2020 CQ Roll Call’s Tanvi Misra received a response from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on how it is approaching potential COVID-19 cases among children in its custody.


ICE

Date Announcement
July 7, 2020 ICE Issues FAQs for SEVP Stakeholders About Guidance for Fall 2020 Semester
July 6, 2020 SEVP Modifies Temporary Exemptions for Nonimmigrant Students Taking Online Courses
May 19, 2020 Citing COVID-19, USBP and ICE Ramp Up Repatriation Flights to Mexico
May 6, 2020 ICE updated its guidance on its response to the pandemic, adding information on the number of individuals who have been released as a result of judicial orders. ICE confirmed that, as of 5/5/20, 674 detainees, 39 detention facility personnel, and 102 ICE employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
April 10, 2020 ICE ERO Releases COVID-19 Pandemic Response Requirements for ICE Detention Facilities
March 26, 2020 SEVP Provides Guidance on New Electronic Form I-20 Issuance During COVID-19 Outbreak
March 24, 2020 SEVP Issues Broadcast Message on COVID-19 News and Updates
March 24, 2020 A 31-year-old Mexican national in ICE custody at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, has tested positive for COVID-19.
March 23, 2020 ICE Issues an FAQ for SEVP Stakeholders Regarding COVID-19
March 22, 2020 At 6:20 pm (ET), ICE communicated to AILA that, generally, only those conducting in-person contact visits need personal protective equipment (PPE) (UNLESS a particular facility has more restrictive rules), but that AILA members should still check with the facility on their individual policy.
March 21, 2020 ICE added language to its COVID-19 guidance stating that “ICE/ERO now requires all legal visitors, CODELs, and STAFFDELs to provide and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) (disposable vinyl gloves, N-95 or surgical masks, and eye protection) while visiting any detention facility.” Local ICE offices have reached out to some chapters directly with similar guidance and have stated that visitors will have to provide the PPE themselves. It appears that this requirement will apply to courts operated by DHS and located in detention centers. There is no indication at this time that this requirement would apply to courts operated by EOIR and outside of detention centers.
March 18, 2020 ICE issued guidance on how it is handling COVID-19. ICE will temporarily adjust its enforcement posture beginning March 18, 2020. with ERO focused on enforcement on public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds. For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate. ICE notes that, "Consistent with its sensitive locations policy, during the COVID-19 crisis, ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors' offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Individuals should not avoid seeking medical care because they fear civil immigration enforcement." ICE notes that as of 3/17/20, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in ICE detention facilities and is screening new detainees. ICE has temporarily suspended social visitation but non-contact legal visitations will continue to be permitted.
March 16, 2020 AILA’s Local ICE Liaisons received a notice that all ICE check-in appointments in Atlanta are postponed until the week of April 13, 2020. If you are scheduled to report between now and then, please wait and report to ICE between April 14 – 16, 2020. Note: As of now that guidance is only for the people that are handed the actual slip of paper.
March 16, 2020 A representative from AILA’s Ohio Chapter received a notice that the ICE-ERO Ohio office is “ceasing all office check ins.”
March 13, 2020 ICE Releases COVID-19 Guidance for SEVP Stakeholders
March 13, 2020 BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz shared the news that ICE is suspending "social visitation" at all of its detention facilities across the US to prevent any transmission of coronavirus. Legal visits will still be allowed.
March 13, 2020 ICE issued a statement on its response to COVID-19. Statement includes an announcement that ICE is “temporarily suspending social visitation in all detention facilities.”
March 12, 2020 Officials at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas, are allowing visiting hours for attorneys in "non-contact visiting areas" only. Attorneys will be able to visit their clients M-F from 8:00 am-10:15 am and from 6:00 pm until the last request. The non-contact visiting rooms are typical of visiting rooms in a county jail (thick glass between attorney and client). Officers can take documents back and forth from attorney to client. (Courtesy Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez)
March 12, 2020 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) provided NAFSA with the following statement:
“SEVP is committed to remaining flexible in allowing schools to make temporary procedural adaptations so nonimmigrant students can continue to make normal forward progress in their program of study. They can temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19. SEVP will provide updated guidance as the scope and length of this situation becomes more clear.”
March 10, 2020 CQ Roll Call’s Tanvi Misra received a response from ICE on how it is approaching potential COVID-19 threat in its detention centers.
March 9, 2020 SEVP Issues Broadcast Message on COVID-19 and Potential Procedural Adaptations for F and M Students
March 6, 2020 ICE Releases Interim Reference Sheet on 2019-Novel Coronavirus
March 4, 2020 ICE-ERO Temporary Closes Seattle Field Office Due to Possible COVID-19 Exposure
  • ICE noted that any appointments missed due to the office closure will be rescheduled: “Please contact your Deportation Officer in the Non-Detained Unit once the office has reopened to reschedule your appointment. The Non-Detained Unit will work with attorneys and their clients to ensure reporting is scheduled and documented. The Non-Detained Unit can be reached by email at Seattle.Outreach@ice.dhs.gov. To post an immigration bond for an alien being detained by ICE, you must post the bond at 1623 E J Street, Suite 2, Tacoma, WA 98421, Mondays through Fridays (except public holidays) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.”
January 29, 2020 SEVP Issues Broadcast Message on 2019 Novel Coronavirus and F and M Nonimmigrants


Presidential Documents

Date Announcement
June 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Individuals Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak (85 FR 38263, 6/25/20)
May 28, 2020 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Individuals from Brazil Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Novel Coronavirus (85 FR 31933, 5/28/20)
May 22, 2020 Executive Order on Deregulatory Action Due to COVID-19
April 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak (85 FR 23441, 4/27/20)
April 10, 2020 President Memorandum on Visa Sanctions
President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of State to impose visa sanctions pursuant to section 243(d) of the INA on any foreign country that denies or delays the acceptance of its citizens, subjects, nationals, or residents after being asked to accept them, and if such denial or delay is impeding DHS operations necessary to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
March 18, 2020 Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus (UK and Ireland) (85 FR 15341, 3/18/20)
On 3/14/20, President Trump issued a proclamation that, with some exemptions, suspends and limits the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of individuals who were physically present within the UK and Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry.
March 16, 2020 Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus (85 FR 15045, 3/16/20)
President Trump issued a proclamation, effective 11:59 pm (ET) on 3/13/20, that with some exemptions, suspends and limits the entry, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of individuals who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry.
March 4, 2020 Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus (85 FR 12855, 3/4/20)
President Trump issued a proclamation that, with some exceptions, suspends and limits entry into the U.S., as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of persons who were physically present in Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry/attempted entry.
February 5, 2020 Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus (85 FR 6709, 2/5/20)
President Trump issued a proclamation on 1/31/20 suspending and limiting entry into the U.S. as immigrants or nonimmigrants of all individuals who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry.


USCIS

USICS Office Closings Webpage (**Please check this page for the latest updates on USCIS office clsoures**)

USCIS Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

USCIS’s Response to the 2019 Coronavirus

USCIS Special Situations Webpage

Date Announcement
September 23, 2020 USCIS Temporary Final Rule on Interpreters at Asylum Interviews (85 FR 59655, 9/23/20)
September 11, 2020 USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Certain Agency Requests
August 25, 2020 USCIS Updates Policy on CW-1 Departure Requirement
August 20, 2020 USCIS Provides Instructions for Form I-9 Completion by Non-E-Verify Agricultural Employers of Certain H-2A Nonimmigrants
August 20, 2020 USICS Temporary Final Rule Partially Extending Rule on H-2A Requirement Changes Due to COVID-19 (85 FR 51304, 8/20/20)
July 9, 2020 USCIS and EOIR Proposed Rule on Pandemic-Related Security Bars to Asylum and Withholding of Removal
July 1, 2020 USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Certain Agency Requests
July 1, 2020 USCIS Anticipates Completing All Postponed Naturalization Ceremonies By End of July
June 18, 2020 USCIS Provides Materials from Stakeholder Engagement on Resumption of In-Person Services
June 16, 2020 USCIS Provides Form I-9 Examples Related to Temporary COVID-19 Policies
June 16, 2020 USCIS Issues Stakeholder Message on COVID-19 Impacts on Intercountry Adoptions
May 29, 2020 USCIS Announces Resumption of Premium Processing for Certain Petitions
May 27, 2020 USCIS Issues Visitor Policy in Light of COVID-19
May 27, 2020 USCIS Preparing to Resume Public Services on June 4, 2020
May 19, 2020 USCIS Announces It Will Accept Refiling of Rejected Forms I-140 with E-Certification or Electronically Reproduced Signatures
May 11, 2020 USCIS Issues Temporary Policy Changes for Certain Foreign Medical Graduates During the COVID-19 National Emergency
May 1, 2020 USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Certain Agency Requests
April 24, 2020 USCIS Extends Temporary Office Closure Until at Least June 3
April 20, 2020 USCIS Temporary Final Rule on Changes to H-2A Requirements Due to COVID-19 Emergency (85 FR 21739, 4/20/20)
April 13, 2020 USCIS Announcement on COVID-19 Delays in Extension and Change of Status Filings
April 13, 2020 USCIS Announces Delay in Data Entry and Receipt Notice Generation for FY2021 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions
April 3, 2020 USCIS Releases Q&As on Temporary Policies for Form I-9 and E-Verify
April 1, 2020 USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended Until at Least May 3
March 30, 2020 CIS Ombudsman’s Office Issues Alert on USCIS Response to COVID-19
March 30, 2020 USCIS Announces It Will Reuse Previously Submitted Biometrics to Process Form I-765 Extension Requests
March 30, 2020 USCIS Announces Flexibility for NOIRs, NOITs, and Form I-290B
March 27, 2020 USCIS Announces Flexibility for Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny
March 25, 2020 USCIS announced that effective immediately and until further notice, USCIS, Office of the Chief Counsel, is not accepting personal service of process for actions against USCIS or its personnel in their official capacity due to on-site staffing shortages caused by COVID-19 circumstances.
March 25, 2020 USCIS announced on Twitter that field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers will now remain closed until April 7, unless further extended.
March 25, 2020 USCIS Temporarily Closes Rome and Nairobi Offices to the Public
March 21, 2020 USCIS E-Verify Issues Summary of Temporary Policies Due to COVID-19
March 20, 2020 USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for All I-129 and I-140 Petitions Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
March 20, 2020 USCIS Announces Flexibility in Submitting Required Signatures During COVID-19 National Emergency
March 17, 2020 USCIS Temporarily Closing Offices to the Public
March 13, 2020 USCIS created a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 and also Clarified Public Charge Rules Do Not Restrict Access to Testing, Screening, or Treatment of Communicable Diseases
March 12, 2020 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 12, and until further notice, all asylum decision pick-up appointments at the New York Asylum Office and the Newark Asylum office will be cancelled and decisions will be mailed.
March 11, 2020 USCIS Issues Alert on Rescheduling Appointments Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 9, 2020 Practice Alert: USCIS Reopening Seattle Field Office After Closing Temporarily Due to Coronavirus Exposure
February 5, 2020 USCIS Temporarily Closing Field Offices in Beijing and Guangzhou in Response to Coronavirus

Litigation

Litigation Over Detainee Release During COVID-19

Congressional Efforts

Media Coverage

Other Documents and Resources

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20030201.