THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION. 

This Request for Information (RFI) is for market research, information, and planning purposes ONLY. This RFI does not in any way constitute a Request for Quote (RFQ) and as such, shall not be construed as a commitment by the Government (implied or otherwise) to issue a solicitation or ultimately award a contract. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is conducting market research to determine the capabilities of industry to provide a knowledge management system that would offer a user-friendly method for detained noncitizens to conduct legal research related to their immigration proceedings. Currently, ICE ERO provides an electronic law library that serves detained noncitizens in approximately 100-150 detention facilities (subject to fluctuation) nationwide through external hard drives that are updated quarterly and mailed to these facilities or corresponding ERO field offices. Not all detention facilities are internet-ready and have the capability for web-based tools. Some detention facilities do provide tablets with commercial applications for internet-based legal research. Most detained noncitizens who receive external assistance through pro se materials or legal research can only receive such information through the mail. Under ICE detention standards legal mail may be inspected, but not read. 

Requirements & Key Functions: ICE ERO seeks a user-friendly knowledge management system (hereafter, referred to as a “system”) that would be accessible nationwide in all ICE detention facilities. Requirements include:

  • ICE National Detention Standards Required Material: At a minimum, include the required materials listed under ICE National Detention Standards (see National Detention Standards (NDS) 2019 Section 6.3.II.C, Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) 2011, Rev.2016 Section 6.3, Appendix 6.3.A., PBNDS 2008 Section 6.36, Attachment A; and NDS 2000 Access to Legal Material, Attachment A).
  • Searchable Legal Databases: Legal treatises, immigration-related statutes and regulations, legal dictionaries, and immigration case law. In some instances, detained noncitizens may need access to state criminal case law databases.
  • Select materials available through the internet: Accommodating updates to government-approved resources, such as forms and guides that are periodically published on government websites maintained by ICE, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. State Department, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) as well as the EOIR Legal Orientation Program (LOP) service provider website. Additionally, the system should be capable of accepting updates to country condition and human trafficking reports from the U.S. State Department, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), and other human rights organizations as well as pro bono immigration service providers providing pro se materials or pro bono legal service provider lists.
  • Additional materials provided by ICE ERO: ICE policies, national detainee handbooks, immigration and other legal self-help toolkits and resources (e.g., parental rights), forms and complaint information for DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL).
  • Individual Accessibility: Each detained noncitizen must have the ability to save search histories, copy and paste from materials, as well as download and save documents.
  • Language Access: Spanish continues to be the primary language spoken by most of the detained population in ICE custody. However, there are several other primary languages spoken by detained noncitizens, including indigenous or other rare languages. Ideally a platform would be accessible by individuals who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) and include pro se materials, toolkits, handbooks, and other resources in all available languages. At a minimum, the system and legal resources therein should be accessible in the 10 most common languages spoken by a significant segment of the ICE detained population (list to be provided by ICE). Otherwise, legal resources should also be included in all other available languages (e.g., EOIR LOP materials are currently available in over 30 languages). Also, ideally the system’s content would be accessible in different languages through real-time, commercial translation applications. Content should also be categorized by language, so that a detained noncitizen can select their language and pull up all resources available in that language.
  • Material Format: The system ideally would accommodate written materials, audio files, and video content. Content should also be accessible for use through a variety of alternative technologies for the purpose of accommodating detained noncitizens who are illiterate or with disabilities. All content must be searchable within documents as well as through database search engines. The system and all content must also be Section 508 compliant.

We would like to hear from you by December 15, 2021 so that we can begin planning for Fiscal Year 2022.

When submitting your answers to the question below, please feel free to tell us a little bit about your company by including a capability statement, or a single electronic pamphlet, of less than 10 pages. Please be sure to tell us if you are a large business, a small business under NAICS code 541511, or a federal nonprofit organization as defined by IRC 501(c); and please include your company's DUNS number. If you are a small business with any additional small business classifications (i.e. women-owned, veteran-owned, 8(a), etc.), then please share those with us too. ICE ERO highly encourages the submittal of any short product demonstrations via online conferencing software. Note that these demonstrations are considered market research and not an acknowledgement of an upcoming solicitation and will be provided at the expense of the company and is not allowable for reimbursement. ICE ERO will schedule the demonstration in accordance with guidelines and any potential non-disclosure agreements that may be needed.

  • Please describe the technical capabilities of your organization.
  1. Do you currently provide an electronic law library or similar knowledge management system and in what format?
  2. Does your organization have in-house technical capabilities to achieve all or some of the above requirements?
  3. If not, does your organization have existing relationships with other entities that could perform the technical requirements listed above, or would your organization be willing to partner with entities who could meet the technical requirements?
  4. What is your organization’s capability to establish internet connectivity or a networking where internet access is not available?
  • How would your organization design and provide such a system? Please account for the fact that this platform will be used in 100-150 different detention facilities, with varying technical capabilities, and that the officers responsible for installing updates are located in at least 25 distinct offices across the country.
  1. How would you go about updating the information as new sources/versions become available?
  2. How frequent can/would information provided within the system be updated?
  3. Do you have the capability of designing a system without internet connectivity?
  4. Do you have the capability to update without internet access?
  5. If internet access is not available, how will that impact functionality and cost?
  6. What is the approximate size of your program or platform (if known), and what would be the distribution mechanism (for example, electronic hard drives, or USBs)?
  7. What research features and functionality could your organization provide in such a system?
  8. For the material format requirements, how would you accommodate these formats? What would be the minimum requirements for accommodating all formats mentioned?
  9. What would be the minimum requirements for computer processing to deliver the platform?
  10. How quickly could your system be installed/implemented at a new detention facility location?
  • Currently, the electronic law library is not provided through the internet. If your organization believes an internet-based solution is the best solution (or the only solution), please explain why. If you propose an alternative network solution, please elaborate.
  • How would your organization create an accessible system designed to be used by ICE’s specific population?
    1. How would you design both a platform and information content so that it is accessible by detained noncitizens who are LEP? Please explain how you would provide accommodations.
    2. How could your organization ensure the platform is easily navigable for individuals with little or no experience with legal research?
    3. How could your organization ensure the platform is easily navigable for individuals who are unfamiliar with computers?
    4. What are the capabilities of your organization to ensure the platform provides access to legal reference materials that are useful to detained noncitizens as they progress through civil immigration proceedings?
    5. Would a detained noncitizen be able to save legal research conducted over the platform and revisit it? How would you go about to facilitate this capability?
  • In light of the fact some of the ICE detention facilities are in correctional settings and detained individuals may be prohibited from accessing the internet, how would you ensure cyber security?
  • How much time would your organization need, and/or under what delivery schedule would your organization be able to complete such a system?
  • Please describe how your organization could update the system with new legal materials on a quarterly or at least a bi-annual basis.
  • ICE is open to proposals from organizations who may only be able to provide legal guides and self-help materials rather than all the case law required by the ICE detention standards.
    1. Would your organization be able to suggest an alternative to providing a database of immigration case law or other case-law that may meet a detained noncitizen’s needs for pro se representation? What would you propose?
    2. Please describe what your product would look like and how it would function for detained noncitizens.
    3. Can your organization provide access to up-to-date immigration forms, or other materials that might be useful to detained noncitizens? If yes, what additional services or materials could your organization provide?
  • Would your organization have the capability to provide ancillary services to assist with individual legal research by a detained noncitizen?
    1. How would you go about providing this?
    2. What do you recommend such services entail?
    3. How would you deliver the legal research? Do you have capability to send information by mail?
    4. If you can provide this, would you be able to assist individuals who are illiterate, LEP, and/or individuals with disabilities? Please explain how you would provide accommodations.
    5. Considering the fact most pro se detained noncitizens who receive external assistance can only receive legal materials via the mail, would your organization have the capability to mail legal resources? If not, what would you propose as an alternative solution for delivering legal research/documentation to detained noncitizens? How would you ensure security in the delivery?
  • How could your organization help ensure that detained noncitizens and/or detention facility staff are able to use the system productively?
    1. Could your organization offer onsite training at dedicated ICE facilities?
      1. How often?
    2. Could your organization produce remote or recorded trainings for detained noncitizens and staff?
    3. Would your organization be able to deliver training in languages other than English?  If so, in what languages?
    4. What kind of reference materials could your organization offer to guide detained noncitizens in using the system? 
      1. How would your organization ensure these were accessible to detained noncitizens with limited or no English proficiency?
  • Analytics & Reporting
    1. Would your organization be able to provide data analytics such as where the system is accessed, frequency, and types of materials accessed and in what languages?
    2. Would your organization have the capability to report back on the usage of specific detained noncitizens? How would you go about capturing usage?
    3. If analytics is available, what would be the minimum requirements?
  • Solicitation
    1. Does your organization have any thoughts on how this product should be solicited by ICE?
    2. Does your organization have any other input that may be useful for ICE to consider in procuring these services?

The Government will not reimburse respondents for any costs associated with information submitted in response to the RFI. Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated with responding to this RFI.

Responses to this RFI are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government for the basis of forming a binding contract. This RFI is being issued solely for the purpose of gathering information for planning purposes. This RFI does not commit the Government to a contract for any supply or service. Furthermore, the Government is not at this time seeking quotes and will not accept unsolicited quotes.

Interested parties (specifically small businesses) are encouraged to respond to this RFI. If the scope of this RFI is too large or there are aspects to which your company does not wish to provide a response, please feel free to provide partial/limited feedback in the areas of your specific expertise. ICE hopes to receive information from all interested parties on any aspects of this RFI that could be of benefit to the Government.

Respondents to this RFI may be requested to provide additional information/details based on their initial submittals. The Government reserves the right to select, one (1), some, or none of the submissions for further information. Contractors who submit information in response to this RFI do so with the understanding that U.S. Government personnel may review their materials and or data.

Questions regarding this RFI shall be submitted to the Contracting Officer, Corey.Soileau@ice.dhs.gov.