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Immigration Law Associates, PC

DHS Issues New Memo Restricting Enforcement Activity in “Protected Areas”

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new memo that provides framework for when and where DHS law enforcement entities can conduct enforcement activities in sensitive locations. This memo applies both to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is effective immediately.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas emphasizes that its purpose is to ensure that enforcement activity does not interfere with individuals’ access to essential services or engagement in essential activities. The memo refers to locations where such activities occur as “Protected Areas.” While there is not comprehensive list provided, the memo lists the following as examples of “Protected Areas”:

  • Schools and other places where children congregate.
  • Medical and mental health facilities (including places for vaccines and testing).
  • Places of worship or religious study (regardless of whether it is a structure dedicated to those activities or temporarily in use for them).
  • Community centers.
  • Place where funerals, weddings, rosaries, or other religious or civil ceremony occur.
  • Places where there is an ongoing parade, demonstration, or rally.


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