On September 29, 2023, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new agency-wide guidelines regarding how its employees will address cases in which Red Notices and Diffusions.

The complete guidelines are found here, and the likely effect of some of the most practically impactful provisions are listed in part 2 of this series, found in our last post.

Today’s focus is on the provisions that will likely have little effect on detentions or immigration proceedings involving subjects with Red Notices or Diffusions. Those provisions and the reasons that they will probably not have much impact are:

ICE officials are prohibited from relying exclusively on Red Notices or Diffusions as a basis for action in immigration proceedings. This new policy element is already a fact, as immigration court decisions have made clear in the last several years. However, the reminder is a good one, as not all immigration officials or judges have had much experience with Red Notices.

ICE officials must conduct a preliminary review of available information for evidence of abuse or non-compliance with INTERPOL’s rules. This requirement is a good one, but it presupposes that the ICE officials will know what evidence of abuse of INTERPOL would look like. It also presumes that they have enough knowledge of INTERPOL’s rules to recognize non-compliance. This is a complex area. It seems improbable that ICE officials will receive the requisite training and materials to detect invalid Red Notices or Diffusions, though it would be nice to be wrong.

All in all, the new policy is well-thought-out and provides a solid basis for ICE personnel to perform their duties without detaining people who are wanted by old or invalid data entries within INTERPOL’s databases.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.