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Advocates File Lawsuit to End ICE’s Blanket Use of Video Teleconferencing

February 12, 2019

Seven immigrants, representing a class of all detained immigrants in the New York City area, and the three New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) providers—Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), The Legal Aid Society (LAS), and The Bronx Defenders (BxD)—filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York challenging U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) refusal to bring immigrants to court for deportation hearings. Instead of letting detained immigrants appear in court, ICE has been forcing them to use a video connection to challenge their detention and deportation. (P.L. v. ICE, 2/12/19)


On June 27, 2018, ICE’s New York Field Office (“ICE NY Field Office” or “NY Field Office”) announced without warning that it would no longer produce detained immigrants to immigration court to attend their removal proceedings in person (“Refusal to Produce Policy” or “Policy”). Instead, removal proceedings for detained immigrants would be conducted exclusively over VTC, whereby detained immigrants would appear by video feed from the county jails at which they are detained.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19022101.