What is ISAP?
The Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP) is an alternative to a detention program.
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) determines that an individual is eligible for bond or to be released on their own recognizance after been detained for an immigration violation, they are likely to be enrolled in ISAP.
ICE contracts agents to supervise ISAP participants using a variety of methods, including, but not limited to: ankle bracelets, telephonic reporting (landlines and cellphones), GPS tracking, and unannounced visits to participants’ homes.
Everything You Need to Know About the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program
You must have heard about the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP) at some point. You may have persons who have been subjects of immigration violations and who have been placed on ankle bracelet supervision.
Here, we have tried to answer the relevant questions about the ISAP program as well as the procedure for immigration ankle bracelet removal.
What is the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP)?
Usually, there are people who are detained for violating immigration regulations and laws. At some point, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may, after due consideration of several factors, determine that such an individual is eligible to be released on their own recognizance or are otherwise eligible for parole.
Where such a determination is made, then the said person may be enrolled in the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP).
As such, the ISAP operates as an alternative to a detention program. In operating this program, ICE would assign participants to agents who are contracted to place them under requisite supervision.
This supervision is executed using several methods. Some of them include GPS tracking, telephonic reporting through the use of cellphones or even landlines, visiting the participants’ homes without giving them notice in advance and the use of ankle bracelets.
Persons who are subject to the last method are usually interested in the process for immigration ankle bracelet removal which we will throw some light on subsequently.
You may also have heard about ISAP check-ins.
An Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP) check-in simply refers to a meeting by the ISAP participant with his assigned and contracted agent.
The purpose of this meeting is for the agent to determine if the individual participant has been duly complying with the agreed terms of his release.
For the most part, this meeting is scheduled once every month and the venue would usually be at the ICE/ISAP office closest to the participant.
Location of ICE/ISAP offices.
The particulars of the ICE/ISAP office designated to each individual upon release are usually provided in the documents given to the participant upon his release from jail.
To find the location of your designated office for purposes of check-ins and other requirements, just consult your release documents.
How does one attend ISAP check-ins?
For those who have been enrolled under in-person check-ins, there are designated locations for you to attend your ISAP check-in.
You would also have been made aware of the date, that is, the day of the month as well as the time of the day to attend.
On the other hand, some participants are enrolled under telephone check-ins.
If this is you, then you should make sure to answer the telephone calls made by your supervisory officer or agent at the designated date and time.
Also, where you are enrolled under the telephone check-ins, it is possible to make inquiries at the ICE/ISAP office about using an ISAP check-in app.
Is it necessary to be accompanied by an attorney when going for your ISAP check-in?
The answer to this question is no. You do not need the presence of your attorney when going for your ISAP check-in as they are mostly straightforward events.
Will a judge be present during your ISAP check-in?
The answer to this also is No.
There will be no judges or other officers of the court present when you go for your ISAP check-in. Judges do not conduct neither are they in anyway concerned with ISAP check-ins.
Does the ISAP check-in qualify as a court hearing?
Again, the answer is No.
The very simple purpose of an ISAP check-in is to supervise how well you are complying with the terms of your release.
It is not a court hearing and there are no court procedures conducted during the entire process.
In the event where you have any confusion about the terms of your release or you’re not sure what they really are, then go back to the documents given to you upon your release and review them carefully.
Is an ISAP check-in mandatory?
Yes, it is.
You are not at liberty to decide if and when you will attend your scheduled ISAP check-in. The consequence for acting otherwise is that you may be arrested for violating your terms of release. So make sure you attend your check-ins when and where you are required to.
What happens where you miss an ISAP check-in?
Again, we must reiterate that you are required to, without fail, attend your ISAP check-ins.
However, if you discover that you inadvertently missed a check-in, what you should do is to immediately contact your attorney or legal representative and then reach out to your supervisory ICE/ISAP office so that the problem can be addressed.
What you must not do is to wait until you are contacted by your supervisory agent. If you are unable to reach either your attorney or the ICE/ISAP office, then consider leaving a voice note explaining the situation and try calling again on the next available business day.
If you have one, what is the process for immigration ankle bracelet removal?
Strictly speaking, there are no formal or laid-down procedures for immigration ankle bracelet removal. Deciding if and when immigration ankle bracelet removal will be done rests with the ISAP and consideration for this is done on a case-by-case basis.
In any event, you increase your chances of having ankle bracelet removed if you comply strictly and consistently with the terms of your release.
This means ensuring that you attend all ISAP check-ins and providing regular updates on possible changes to address and other important particulars.
Following months of this strict compliance, your attorney or legal representative will have had good reasons to argue for the immigration ankle bracelet removal.
What if you feel like you have been harassed during your ISAP check-in?
This is frowned upon heavily by the law at every turn. Immediately contact your legal representative and have him place a report to the ISAP office on the issue.
If I have an ankle bracelet, how can I get it removed?
There is no standard or formal process you or an advocate may initiate to have an ankle bracelet removed.
The decision to remove an ankle bracelet is a decision that only ISAP makes on a case-by-case basis.
That said, you have the power to increase the likelihood for ISAP to decide to remove your ankle bracelet.
Every day that you comply with the terms of your release — including attending check-ins and updating ISAP of any changes to your address, etc. — you build a stronger foundation for requesting removal of your ankle bracelet. After months to years of complying with ISAP, your representative/advocate will have persuasive arguments to make in requesting that ISAP consider removing your ankle bracelet.
Very often, once you have filed your asylum application, turned over your passport to ICE, and have a future hearing date, we are able to make a request with ICE that the ankle bracelet be removed/and or ISAP monitoring be lifted. We are typically successful with this request.
The procedure to request the removal of the ISAP Ankle Bracelet is most commonly done through what is called the “De-Escalation Letter.”
The De-Escalation Letter explains to ICE that:
- You have maintained contact with ICE whenever ICE attempted to contact you.
- You have a reliable phone number.
- You regularly keep (or attempt to keep) your ankle monitor charged.
- You turned over your passport to ICE.
- You have not engaged in terrorism or espionage, and I do not pose a threat to national security.
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
Our team of Immigration Paralegals and network of Immigration Attorneys can help prepare and file the De-Escalation Letter, and file for your Work Permit (Employment Authorization Document (EAD). (Note: the USCIS fee for the Employment Authorization Document is $410).
We offer the following services. When you complete the form below, you may select a service from the list below.
- Letter: $99 – Our team prepares your De-Escalation Letter and send it to you with instructions on how to send it to your case officer.
- Letter, Immigration Paralegal Support & Email: $199 – We prepare the letter and email it to your case officer
- Letter, Immigration Attorney Support, G28, FedEx: $599 – An Immigration Attorney prepares the letter and emails it to your case officer.
- Letter Immigration Attorney Support, G28, FedEx and file for Employment Authorization (EAD): $1,199 – An Immigration Attorney prepares the letter and emails it to your case officer. Immigration Attorney files your I-765 Employment Authorization (EAD) petition with USCIS. (additional USCIS I-765 filing fee is $410 is required)