What is the Priority Enforcement Program? - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

What is the Priority Enforcement Program?

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

Chicago immigration attorneys, Priority Enforcement Program, immigration detentionU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintained a directive referred to as Secure Communities (Secomm for short) between 2008 and 2014. This program professed to establish a new direction for U.S. immigration enforcement, largely by enlisting local and state police to help detain and deport undocumented immigrants. However, it steadily declined in popularity after implementation, with the program eventually being discontinued in favor of a new initiative, the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). Modifications have been made; however, if you or a loved one is undocumented, it is still something of which you need to be aware.

How it Works

Many of PEP’s primary features do vary greatly from those in place under Secomm. If someone is arrested by state or local authorities for a criminal violation, then the fingerprints and biometrics taken at that time are forwarded to both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and ICE. A hit at either agency may raise the urgency to deport that individual.

The main difference is in the machinery used to hold and transfer prisoners and detainees. Under Secomm, a process called an immigration detainer was used—basically, an indefinite hold was placed on a suspect until the federal government decided whether or not to arrest and charge him or her.

PEP uses two different forms—the standard immigration detainer, and a new form called a Request for Voluntary Notification of Release of Suspected Priority Alien (called by its number, I-247N). The 247N form, unlike a standard immigration detainer, merely asks a local law enforcement agency to notify ICE if a suspected undocumented immigrant is released from lockup. Also, if an immigration detainer is used on a suspect, a copy must be served on the individual, which was not formerly required under Secomm.

“A Danger to National Security”

Despite the improvements PEP has made to the Secomm model, many undocumented immigrants are still experiencing treatment that can be described as inappropriate. The program’s regulations state that normally, someone may only be held if he or she has committed a specific enumerated crime. However, there is an exception—if an alien is held to be a ‘demonstrable risk’ to national security, in the judgment of an ICE Field Director, then he or she may be subject to detainer. This can pose a significant problem, especially in areas where the issue of undocumented immigration are particularly hotly discussed.

Toward the end of Secomm’s usefulness, many local governments opted out of cooperating with the program, including officials in Cook County. As a result, several undocumented immigrants were released instead of taken into ICE custody, including one man, Saul Chavez, who killed a U.S. citizen in a hit and run accident. This tragedy was used as a tool to inflate anti-immigrant sentiment, with Chavez hyperbolically being described as a danger to national security, as a kind of avatar for all undocumented people. If hyperbole can be used to difficult ends in this affair, it can easily be used in such a way again.

Contact an Immigration Lawyer

If you or a loved one is placed in immigration detention by ICE or by local law enforcement, you will almost certainly wind up in removal proceedings if you are undocumented. Having the right immigration attorney on your team can make a difference. The Chicago immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC will work with you to see how best to handle your issue. Contact us today via phone or website to set up a free initial consultation.





Latest Blog Posts


  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted