Ensure that immigration judges are responsive in a timely manner to requests for continuances by respondents who assert that they have recently experienced symptoms of or have been exposed to COVID-19, and encourage immigration judges to fully consider continuance requests.
2 - Open
Expand the EOIR Court & Appeals System (ECAS) to all immigration courts, and continue to pursue efforts to make ECAS mandatory. Until ECAS is fully deployed, EOIR should consider whether it can continue permitting email filings without increasing the risk to staff during the pandemic. In particular, EOIR should assess the feasibility of having staff scan paper filings into electronic files rather than print emailed filings and whether this would reduce the need for staff to report to work in person. If EOIR permits email filings, EOIR should ensure that users receive confirmation of receipt of filing and are not unfairly restricted by page limits during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in all courts that do not have ECAS.
3 - Open
Develop a plan to ensure maximum telework capability for all positions and staff in locations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, or in the event of a future pandemic or similar conditions, and ensure that it procures sufficient equipment and addresses software limitations to enable the broadest possible telework.
4 - Open
Develop methods to ensure that immigration courts and EOIR offices are following social distancing guidelines during the ongoing pandemic and in the event of any future pandemic.
5 - Open
Ensure that EOIR has a plan in place to order and maintain appropriate stocks of personal protective equipment for employees reporting to EOIR workspaces and other parties appearing for immigration proceedings.
6 - Open
Clearly communicate with staff regarding COVID-19, including concerning when government standards change and what information EOIR is permitted to share regarding potential exposure.
7 - Open
Coordinate with other agencies in non-Department of Justice buildings housing EOIR courts on making announcements about potential COVID-19 exposure.
8 - Open
Ensure that its communication plan and notice procedures for respondents and representatives are effective in reaching the intended audience, including Migrant Protection Protocols respondents, unaccompanied minors, and respondents who may be quarantined during the pandemic.
9 - Open
Update EOIR’s Continuity of Operations Plan and pandemic plan based on experience during COVID-19, and adjust the plans to prepare for the future.
Develop guidance to ensure that the COVID-19 survey results are evaluated consistently and to identify acceptable levels of CDC guideline implementation.
2 - Open
Ensure that all active IGA facilities are reviewed in-person by USMS personnel for implementation of CDC guidelines for the duration of the pandemic. This should include facilities reviewed prior to the July 16, 2020 memorandum, and facilities not responding to the survey.
3 - Closed
Update its oversight plan for IGA facilities to incorporate the latest CDC guidance as it changes.
4 - Closed
Explore the feasibility of expanding the data related to COVID-19 collected on a periodic basis for the IGA facilities.
5 - Closed
Implement a data-driven approach to identify COVID-19 risk factors at the IGA facilities, identify facilities with indicators of higher risk (similar to the 27 identified in this report), and prioritize high risk detention facilities for review by the districts.
6 - Closed
Establish a policy requiring facilities to conduct testing of USMS prisoners for COVID-19 in accordance with CDC guidance, to the maximum extent possible, prior to any transfer to other detention facilities or to BOP custody for the duration of the pandemic.