COVID-19’s Impact on Immigration Cases in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Like many parts of U.S. society, immigration courts, immigration detention centers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are making changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The following information, updated on September 2, 2020, summarizes some of these changes and describes how they apply to people with immigration cases in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel. If you have an immigration case, you should contact an attorney for more information and help on your particular case.
Is ICE still making arrests?
Yes. Even though ICE has said that it will postpone some arrests, ICE is still making arrests. If ICE comes to your home, remember, you have constitutional rights. The following information from the ACLU of Southern California explains what to do if an ICE agent comes to your door.
Do not open the door. You are not legally required to let them in unless they have a warrant.
Ask why they are there.
If you don’t speak English, you have the right to an interpreter.
If they want to enter, ask to see a warrant. There are two kinds of warrants: search and arrest.
A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed.
An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person listed is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window, so you can inspect it. They might show administrative forms (I-200 and I-205). But if they don’t have a warrant signed by a judge, you may refuse entry.
Check for signature by judge. If it's a search warrant, make sure it is for your address; if not, you don’t have to open. If it's an arrest warrant, make sure it is for someone who lives at your address; if not, you don’t have to open.
Even if officers have a warrant and you have to let them in, you have the right to remain silent. Say: “I plead the Fifth Amendment and choose to remain silent.”
If they force their way inside, don’t resist. Remain calm, but don’t share any information.
If you’re arrested, remain silent.
You’re entitled to speak to a lawyer before cooperating and most importantly, keep calm because YOU HAVE RIGHTS, EXERCISE THEM.
For more information on what to do if ICE comes to your door or workplace, follow this link to the ACLU of Southern California.
ICE Check-ins in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Los Angeles County; Orange County; Riverside County; San Bernardino County; Ventura County; Santa Barbara County; San Luis Obispo County
This information is changing quickly. To get the most up-to-date information on ICE check-ins, call your ICE officer or ICE’s Los Angeles Field Office at (213) 830-7911.
Do I have to attend my ICE check-in? Yes. You still must attend your ICE check-in appointment, but you will not meet with your ICE officer personally. Instead, you must fill out a sign-in sheet with your name, case number, and contact information at the ICE office. After providing this information, you can go home, and your ICE officer will call you within two days to discuss your case and future appointments.
Adelanto Detention Facility
This information is changing quickly. To get the most up-to-date information on the Adelanto Detention Facility, call the facility at (760) 561-6100.
Can I visit family and friends detained at Adelanto?
No. ICE has temporarily suspended social visitation at all immigration detention facilities.
Can I attend my loved one’s hearing at the Adelanto Immigration Court?
No. Even though the Adelanto Immigration Court is still open, the Adelanto Detention Facility is not currently allowing family and friends to attend hearings.
If my loved one was granted bond, can I still pay it?
Yes. You can still pay bond at the Los Angeles Federal Building (300 N. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA 90012). It is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.
Can my loved one detained at the Adelanto Detention Facility still be deported?
Yes. ICE is still deporting people at Adelanto who have deportation orders after additional medical screening.
If my loved one is going to be deported from Adelanto, can I drop off anything for them to take with them?
If your loved one will be deported, you can mail them a small bag (less than 40 pounds) to take with them. The bag cannot contain electronic devices like cell phones, electric razors, laptops, or radios. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you cannot personally deliver bags to Adelanto right now.
Los Angeles Immigration Courts
606 S. Olive St.; 300 N. Los Angeles St.; Van Nuys
This information is changing quickly. To get the most up-to-date information on immigration court closures, visit https://www.justice.gov/eoir/eoir-operational-status-during-coronavirus-pandemic.
I am not detained and have a hearing scheduled at a Los Angeles immigration court on or before September 21, 2020. Should I attend?
No. If you are not detained and you have a hearing scheduled on or before September 21, your hearing has been postponed, and you do not need to go to court. Your hearing will be rescheduled. It is very important that you do not miss your next hearing because you could be ordered deported if you are not present. If your hearing has been postponed, you can find out when your next hearing is in two ways:
-Call the automated EOIR hotline at 1-800-898-7180 and enter your A number or
-Visit https://portal.eoir.justice.gov/InfoSystem/Form?Language=EN and enter your A number.
I am not detained and have a hearing scheduled at a Los Angeles immigration court after September 21, 2020. Should I attend?
Yes. The three Los Angeles Immigration courts (N. Los Angeles Street, Olive Street, and Van Nuys Boulevard) will open for hearings on September 21, 2020. If you have a hearing scheduled on or after September 21, 2020, you must attend your hearing unless you receive a notice from the immigration court rescheduling your hearing.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Appointments This information is changing quickly. To get the most up-to-date information on USCIS office closures, visit https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-coronavirus-2019-covid-19.
I have a USCIS appointment scheduled between now and June 3, 2020. Should I attend?
No. USCIS has temporarily closed its offices for in-person appointments and interviews. USCIS is currently planning to reopen its offices on June 4, 2020. If you have an interview, biometrics appointment, or naturalization ceremony scheduled before June 4, 2020, you will receive a new interview or appointment letter in the mail. If you have an InfoPass appointment before June 4, 2020, you must reschedule your appointment through the USCIS Contact Center once USCIS reopens their offices to the public.
I have a USCIS appointment scheduled on or after June 4, 2020. Can I attend?
Yes, if you are healthy. At this time, appointments scheduled on or after June 4, 2020 have not been postponed. It is possible some or all USCIS offices will stay closed after June 4, 2020, but at this time, USCIS plans to reopen on June 4, 2020. USCIS has requested that you reschedule your USCIS appointment if you become ill for any reason. To reschedule your appointment, follow the instructions on your appointment notice.
I have a USCIS appointment scheduled on or after June 4, 2020, but I do not want to attend because of COVID-19. Can I reschedule my appointment?
Yes. You can reschedule your appointment if you are sick, pregnant, over 60, immunocompromised or have a chronic health condition. To reschedule your appointment, follow the instructions on your appointment notice.