Boston deportation or a removal hearing in Immigration Court often begins with a visit from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE). For the unfamiliar, these are the guys that deport people. The immigration raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts was a fine example of the handiwork of ICE. If you are a green card holder but have a criminal conviction, you may have to contend with ICE. Overstayed your student (F1) or visitor visa (B1/B2)? ICE is the immigration agency you should fear.
In late 2007, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement moved its Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) from the 17th Floor of the JFK Federal Building in Boston, MA to a new facility in Burlington, Massachusetts. Their new address is:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO)
10 New England Executive Park
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
Phone number: 781-359-7500
If a friend or family member gets arrested in Massachusetts and taken into the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE agents will most like transfer them to the immigration office in Burlington, MA for processing before being moved to an immigration detention center. Immigration bonds are now posted at the ICE Detention and Removal in Burlington, MA and not the JFK Federal Building in Boston.
Recently, with the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA), I toured the new ICE Detention and Removal facility in Burlington. Since my job as an immigration and deportation defense lawyer in Massachusetts is to defend immigrants who ICE has arrested, I was particularly interested to see the ICE office in Burlington first-hand.
My overall impression–ICE means business! For someone like me who fights to protect people from deportation, it was intimidating to realize that so many critical resources have been devoted to ICE’s new deportation facility. Its Burlington Massachusetts deportation office is tricked-out with latest state-of-the-art electronics and a “War Room” with 100 cubicles–all filled with immigration officers hard at work figuring out how to arrest and deport people. In terms of detention, ICE’s Burlington office has 4 cells, each holding about 25 immigration detainees.
Unless the Obama Administration shifts focus, I fully expect the surge in deportation cases through Massachusetts and New England to continue in 2009 and beyond.
On our tour, the ICE officers were generous hosts. I was impressed by their professionalism. We had an opportunity to meet with Bruce Chadbourne, the Director of ICE Field Office with supervisory responsibilties over Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Director Chadbourne met with us immigration lawyers and informally answered our questions at great length. I came away convinced that the ICE Burlington, MA office is committed to working cooperatively with the Massachusetts immigration attorneys to resolve any issues.