Mandatory Review Policy for Long-Term Detainees (4-30-99)

U. S. Department of Justice

New Mandatory Review Policy For INS Long-Term Detainees

Doris Meissner
Immigration and Naturalization Service

Effective immediately, all INS district offices have been instructed to perform reviews of individuals who have final orders of removal but whose immediate repatriation is not possible. These reviews will determine eligibility for release of these individuals under authorization provided in the changes in the 1996 immigration law. The mandatory reviews will occur before the expiration of the 90-day removal period. Individuals who are not found amenable to release following the 90-day review will have their cases reviewed every six months thereafter.

Previous INS policy recognized that district directors had the authority to conduct such case reviews. The reviews have now been made mandatory and will be conducted in a regularly scheduled manner.

INS’ priority is keeping our community safe, and no one will be released if he or she is deemed to pose a threat to public safety. However, every individual in long-term detention has a right at any time to request a review of his or her case, based on a change of circumstances, to determine if release is appropriate. Release decisions will consider criminal and immigration violations, history of violence while incarcerated, evidence of rehabilitation, and ties to the community.

Furthermore, in order to achieve fairness and consistency, INS will put into place uniform, standardized and transparent procedures for the reviews.

INS is committed to ensuring a fair and consistent review process that is conducted in a timely, methodical manner. By establishing regularly scheduled reviews, individuals in long-term detention and their families will know when their cases will be reviewed, as well as the procedures for those reviews.

We will continue to work with all parties in the communities we serve to ensure their safety and to further open communication as well as active participation with INS as the agency continues to forge a framework for how to effectively deal with the difficult issue of long-term detention.


– INS –


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