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Aba San Pedro Transfers Letter 2007

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October 24, 2007

Julie L. Myers
Assistant Secretary
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security
425 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20536
Re: Detainee Transfers
Dear Assistant Secretary Myers:
On behalf of the American Bar Association, I write to reiterate the importance of
ICE ensuring full and timely compliance with the Detainee Transfer detention
standard. We understand that detainees from San Pedro Processing Center
recently were transferred to other facilities and, according to reports we have
received, many of the detainees’ attorneys did not receive notification as required
under the standard. Some attorneys apparently only learned of the transfers when
they arrived at court for scheduled hearings or when they attempted to contact
their clients at the facility. In addition, we understand that there is a possibility
that detainees may be transferred from San Diego Contract Detention Facility
because of fires in the region. In the case of any transfer, it is essential that the
detention standards are followed to ensure that legal access is not impaired.
While it may be necessary to transfer detainees in appropriate circumstances,
including when conditions are poor or unsafe, or when a facility does not comply
with the ICE detention standards, we urge that the procedures required by the
standards be followed. The Detainee Transfer standard requires ICE to notify the
detainee and his or her representative of the transfer and to provide both parties
with written notice of the name, address, and telephone number of the receiving
facility. Indigent detainees are entitled to make a domestic telephone call at
government expense, and other non-indigent detainees may call at their own
expense upon arrival at their final destination. Detainee A-files are to be put in
good order prior to transfer, and include the completed Detainee Transfer
Checklist “to ensure that all procedures are completed.” And medical needs must
be assessed and records transferred with the detainees.
The ICE detention standards, including the Detainee Transfer standard, are the
result of negotiations between the ABA, the Department of Justice, the former
INS and advocacy organizations. As a key stakeholder in developing the
standards, the ABA is committed to their full and effective implementation. The

ABA opposes transfer of detainees to remote facilities where immigration legal assistance is
generally not available. The Detainee Transfer standard reflects this concern in part, providing
that detainees should not be transferred beyond a reasonable distance from their attorneys, and
outlining procedures to ensure that detainees and counsel receive proper notice of the transfer.
The ABA urges that proper procedures be followed in order to ensure that immigrants and
asylum seekers in detention are not disadvantaged by their transfer.
In the case of detainees already transferred from San Pedro, we urge ICE to ensure that any
attorneys that have not received the required notification are immediately contacted with the
appropriate information. In the case of the San Diego Contract Detention Facility, we urge ICE
to ensure that appropriate advance preparation is made so that all procedures under the Detainee
Transfer standard are fully implemented on a timely basis in the event that it becomes necessary
to transfer detainees quickly due to the dangerous conditions in the region.
We appreciate your consideration of this important issue.

Denise A. Cardman
Acting Director

John P. Torres, Director, Office of Detention and Removal
Mary Loiselle, Acting Deputy Assistant Director, Detention
Management Division, Office of Detention and Removal



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