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Get ICE Free: How To Get Released From Immigration Detention

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova

ICE or Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency is the "police" of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE officers are in charge of investigation and apprehension of those who violate the U.S. Immigration laws. Most commonly, a person gets into the ICE’s custody after he/she has been detained by regular police and charged with some sort of a crime. This happens due to the special programs implemented by the government to “track” illegal immigrants and share information and fingerprint databases between the State and Federal authorities and Immigration agencies. If the detained person is in fact in violation of his/her status, or the charges brought against him/her may make him/her deportable, the ICE detainers are launched and upon release from the State or Federal facility, the immigrant gets into the ICE custody or detention.

When you learn that somebody is in ICE custody, the first thing to do is to try locating the exact place where the person is being held. One should use Detainee locator system: Here ». The issue with the system is that it requires the person’s A number (Alien registration number) to work properly, and often a relative does not have that number handy. In such a case, a family member may contact the ICE field operation directly and request information on the detainee: Here ». Often, however, the ICE agents will not discuss the case with anybody who does not present a valid power of attorney , G- 28 form. At the same time, it is vital for the family members to act as soon as they learn about the ICE detention because the detainee may be transferred to a remote facility which will make it very difficult for the family to assist the detained person.

The next step after the person is located, would be to get his/her exact immigration charges by contacting the person’s deportation officer and requesting a copy of the ICE detainer and/or notice to appear if such was served/ issued. It is important to know the exact charges as it will determine if the detained is eligible for the bond hearing. There are instances when detained immigrant cannot be released on bond: let’s say he/she is convicted of an aggravated felony or was apprehended after entering the country on a Visa Waiver Program. The law also allows removal without seeing the judge for those who are trying to enter the country and were found to be inadmissible, and those who had a prior order of deportation and failed to leave the country. However, even in these instances there are exceptions that might be invoked in order for the person to see an immigration judge. Because of such technicalities, it is advisable that an experienced Immigration counsel is hired to assist the immigrant and his/her family members to figure out the best way to fight ICE detention.

Finally, it is the ICE itself which sets the initial bond and if it is too high, or the bond is denied completely, it is an immigration judge who has a power to review it. This is where an attorney becomes especially handy as often it is pure advocacy that makes a difference between $1,500 bond and $15,000. You may read about hot to get the bond money back here: How to Return Bond Money.

If you have questions regarding ICE detention, call Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova 917-885-2261.

02 January 2014
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