Detention has become a much more commonly-used means of handling undocumented immigrants in the United States, after they have been arrested. Detention is used to detain immigrants who have been classified as threats to public safety, as well as those who are considered to be “flight risks,” meaning there is suspicion that they will attempt to leave the area for another in the US. By using detention, the government is able to guarantee an inmate will be able to appear in Immigration Court.
A variety of situations can arise leading to the detention of immigrants by the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Among these are the following:
- Having committed a crime
- Arrival at a US border without a visa or formal application for asylum or refugee status
- Having an outstanding order for removal/ deportation
- Having missed a prior immigration hearing
Locating a Detained Loved One
If you have a loved one who has been detained and you are trying to locate them, accessing the ICE detainee locator website is one way to go about doing this. Having the individual’s Alien Number would be quite helpful, if applicable. This number can be found on their green card or work permit. If you do not have this information, you will need their date of birth, their country of birth, and the correct spelling of their name in accordance with how it is registered in the ICE system. If the detainment occurred very recently, you may have to wait some time for the information to be updated in the computerized system. If the person you are trying to locate is under the age of 18, it’s important to know that the system will not provide any information on them.
If you are still unable to locate the individual you are searching for, it may make sense to contact an immigration attorney for assistance. They can help with tracking down the correct immigration/ deportation officers, while maintaining proper communication. If the individual in question needs certain accommodations, such as medication or medical care, an attorney can help to ensure these needs are met.
Benefits of Detention
While detention can be a very serious occurrence, one of the most positive aspects of it is that it can enable the detainee to appear in immigration court very rapidly with faster proceedings, which may lead to a positive outcome. In this regard, having the representation of an attorney can be greatly beneficial, because their guidance can be especially important in assisting you on the best course of action for your case.
If it is a loved one in question, it will be important to find out if there is an amount of bond that has been set for their release from detention. If you are told by a deportation officer that the person you are inquiring about does not have bond, be sure to ask whether the amount of bond has just not been set yet, or if it means that the detained individual is ineligible for bond. Per the law, some individuals are not eligible to receive bond, and they will be required to remain in detention until a judge makes a decision as to whether they can remain in the US, or face deportation. Due to the complexities of these circumstances, we cannot stress the importance of having an immigration attorney for guidance and direction to ensure all aspects of the detention are being properly and accurately upheld.