Immigration Action

CBP's Updated Enforcement and Removal Policies

On November 20, 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced new immigration enforcement priorities and guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion entitled Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum. All DHS agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will apply these enforcement and removal priorities when determining which aliens may be removed from the United States. Consistent with the Secretary’s direction, CBP will continue to prioritize threats to national security, public safety, and border security. CBP is updating its procedures and training to implement the new priorities.

The Secretary also issued a memorandum entitled Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents, which, through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, allows individuals who meet the eligibility criteria to request, on a case-by-case basis, deferred action. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will adjudicate all of these requests which includes eligibility determinations. If you have questions about deferred action or other services and benefits offered by USCIS, you may call the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-375-5283 or visit the website at for more information.  CBP does not make eligibility determinations on these new initiatives.

The following sections provide additional information on what to expect while in CBP custody and other common scenarios one might encounter while in custody or under review with DHS. 

For individuals in CBP custody

  • An individual encountering CBP at a Port of Entry or near the U.S. border may be subject to additional processing, for instance, to determine identity and lawful status. This may require CBP to apprehend and process the individual at a CBP Port of Entry or Border Patrol Station
  • If you believe you (or a family member) were apprehended and processed by a Customs and Border Protection officer or Border Patrol agent contrary to the new DHS enforcement priorities, please tell us about your experience by contacting the CBP INFO Center at:

General Inquiries:

International Callers: 202-325-8000

TDD: 866-880-6582

Hours of Operations: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

For individuals in proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review

  • Your case is outside of CBP’s authority and likely under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) jurisdiction. If your administrative proceedings are pending before an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals but you believe that you do not fall within the DHS enforcement priorities you may request ICE to administratively close your case.
  • Please visit ICE’s website for information on how to submit your request to the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA).

For individuals with removal orders who are scheduled for removal and are not in CBP custody

  • An individual with a removal order who is scheduled for removal should contact ICE and request a review for eligibility under Secretary's memorandum and prosecutorial discretion.  You may call the ICE Enforcement and Removal Office (ERO) Detention Reporting and Information Line, toll-free, at 1-888-351-4024 to submit your request for review. 

For individuals who wish to file a complaint regarding a CBP removal encounter

  • Individuals wishing to submit a formal complaint pertaining to an encounter with a Customs and Border Protection Officer or Border Patrol Agent can contact the CBP Info Center at 877-227-5511.

DHS has prepared a referral notice for individuals who may wish to pursue deferred action with USCIS. That notice is available here.

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