Council and AILA File FOIA Requests Seeking Information on FERM Program

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Last modified: 
November 21, 2023
The records sought will shed light on DHS’s initiative to place families on expedited removal track

The Family Expedited Removal Management program, or FERM, is an ICE initiative that seeks to remove participating families as quickly as possible if the heads of household of families placed in the program do not pass credible fear interviews. Since the FERM program’s implementation in May, the government has provided limited information about FERM’s implementation. The agencies involved have failed to publicize the criteria to place families in the program. Despite FERM’s rapid nationwide expansion, there is not a comprehensive list of the cities where the FERM program is operating. And, advocates report that families placed on FERM lack information about the process, including their right to have an attorney. 

The FOIA requests both ICE and CBP seek information about the program and data about the families enrolled. Specifically, the requesters asked for: 

  • Records on the criteria the agencies use to enroll families in the FERM program, including the list of nationalities who may be subject to FERM and the cities where it operates. 

  • Documents and information given to families about the program, including information about access to legal representation. 

  • Demographic data on the families placed in FERM. 

The information requested will help advocates assisting families placed in FERM better understand the process to and assist their clients. It also will help the public understand the details of the FERM process and demand accountability.   

Most Read

  • Publications
  • Blog Posts
  • Past:
  • Trending