In the ever-evolving landscape of immigration policies, one significant development is the Department of Homeland Security’s Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program. Attorney Alfredo Estrada, and the Immigration Law Center at BCC, find it imperative to shed light on this program, which has been in effect since May 11, 2023. In this blog post, we aim to provide families with a legal perspective on FERM, outlining its key features, expedited timeline, and the cities where it is.

The FERM program, introduced through the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule, specifically targets families entering the United States without inspection at the southern border. This initiative involves placing ankle monitors on the heads of households, implementing continuous monitoring, and enforcing an 11:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew. The primary goal is to facilitate non-detained credible fear interviews (CFI) at local USCIS offices and immigration judge reviews of negative CFI findings.

One notable aspect of FERM is its expedited timeline, aiming to conclude the process within 30 days. The breakdown of this timeline is crucial for families navigating the complexities of this program:

  • Days 1 – 5: CBP referral, USCIS scheduling of CFI, and check-in with BI for ankle monitors and home curfews.
  • Days 6 – 12: In-person CFI at USCIS offices. Positive findings may lead to the removal of ankle monitors, while negative findings could trigger immigration judge reviews.
  • Days 13 – 20: If CFI is negative, the removal process begins, with the head of the household under electronic supervision.
  • Days 21 – 30: ERO obtains travel documents, and the family checks in with ICE for removal, with the head of the household still wearing an ankle monitor.

FERM is currently implemented in 45 cities across 26 states and the District of Columbia, spanning various regions of the United States. Families affected by FERM should be aware of the cities where this program is in effect.

As an attorney concentrating in immigration law, my role is to ensure that families affected by FERM have access to due process and legal protection. I understand the complexities and potential challenges this program may pose. It is essential for families to seek legal counsel to navigate the policies and procedures surrounding FERM effectively.

The Family Expedited Removal Management program introduces a nuanced set of challenges for families entering the U.S. without inspection. Legal representation becomes paramount in ensuring that the rights of affected families are upheld throughout the process. If you find yourself grappling with the implications of FERM, I encourage you to seek professional legal advice to navigate this complex landscape and safeguard the well-being of your family.

The Immigration Law Center at BCC is here to offer guidance, support, and legal representation to families affected by FERM. Together, we can navigate these challenges and work towards a resolution that prioritizes your family’s best interests.

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Immigration in Northwest Indiana & Chicago

We have offices in both Merrillville and Valparaiso, and are available for client meetings in Chicago. But we also can assist you no matter where you live.