U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) announced a process for family units apprehended at the southwest border who are processed for expedited removal and indicate an intention to apply for asylum or express a fear of persecution or torture. This process, Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM), will place certain heads of household for family units on Alternatives to Detention (ATD) technology – a GPS ankle monitor – for continuous monitoring and make them subject to a curfew.
FERM is designed to ensure family units in the credible fear process participate in a timely credible fear interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and any requested review by an immigration judge without being detained. Families who receive a final negative credible fear determination will generally be removed from the United States within 30 days from processing into Expedited Removal and referral to USCIS.
“ERO is committed to imposing immigration consequences in a safe and humane manner to those who unlawfully enter the United States,” said ERO Executive Associate Director Corey A. Price. “Families should not listen to the lies of smugglers. Like single adults, noncitizens traveling with their children who do not have a lawful basis to remain in the United States will be quickly removed and barred from reentry for at least five years.”
Heads of household are eligible to be enrolled in FERM if they are: (1) processed for expedited removal; (2) nationals of countries to which ICE maintains regular removal flights; and (3) residing in a location under the jurisdiction of the ICE field office based in one of four FERM-destination cities.
Most heads of households of family units not placed into FERM will be placed in other forms of ATD.