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ICE has Operation Horizon in Process

November 27, 2021
  • Business Immigration
  • Individual Immigration

What to pay attention to about ICE’s plan on notifications to immigrants and possible deportation

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency began sending Notices to Appear to more than 78,000 undocumented immigrants who must appear before a judge, who will determine if they are subject to immediate deportation; Failure to attend the appointment puts the non-citizen in an immediate expulsion process

In early November, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated Operation Horizon to locate some 78,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the United States but were released.

The order signed by the agency’s acting director, Tae Johnson, and OPLA’s chief legal adviser, Kerry Doyle, could pose some danger of removal for those people who are being sent Notices to Appear (NTAs).

With that document, immigrants must go to an immigration court to know what proceeds with their cases, but if that person does not attend the appointment, could be put in deportation proceedings immediately.

The NTA will be sent to the address the immigrants provided to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, but if the non-citizen gave incorrect information — and didn’t change it within five days — they could face serious problems.

Immigrant advocates, such as the American Immigration Council, have called on authorities to avoid abuse, as the process could increase “absentia” deportation cases, meaning the judge determines that the immigrant ignored his appointment and therefore will have a final order of deportation.

“The plan could lead to a significant number of individuals being unfairly ordered removed ‘in absentia’ if they do not receive NTA and subsequently miss a hearing before an immigration judge, especially if they are not represented by an attorney,” the Council warned.

What to do

Immigrants who believe they might be part of that group ICE will seek to locate should:

  • Call 1(800) 898-7180, which is a Department of Justice number to locate immigration court appointments.
  • Check the Alien Number, which you must provide. It is noted in the document that immigration authorities gave to the immigrant upon his release.
  • Ask a lawyer for advice, because there are no excuses about having given an incorrect address and not changing it in time.
  • It’s also possible for the court date to be in a different state than where the immigrant lives, but an attorney can help change it.


Source: León, W. (2021, 26 November). ICE has Operation Horizon in process. Latino 4U.