New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Immigration Hold (DETAINER) and Bond

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

An Immigration hold is usually filed with the State or Federal prison when a detainee is a non- US citizen who is likely to be removed based on prior violations of Immigration laws, or as a result of a criminal conviction for which the person is in custody

Nowadays, an Immigration hold is “put” on an immigrant within hours after the State or Federal prison assumes custody. It happens so fast because according to different immigration programs, as soon as the person’s fingerprints are processed, the ICE receives information regarding that person’s status and through its local agents prepares and files the hold

What is an ICE HOLD or DETAINER?

An ICE hold is a document/order on forms I-247 or Form I-203 pursuant to which Federal or State facility should not release the person after the bail is placed or the person is released from the State or Federal custody, but should give the ICE 48 hours to assume the custody of the detainee. It must be noted that Federal law 8 CFR 287.7 states which officials can issue detainers.

When a non US citizen is arrested, it is important to try to bail him out before the ICE detainer is filed. Why? Because in this situation, there is a great chance, that non-citizen will be free and avoid ICE detention and Immigration proceedings overall.

If this does not happen, and the detainer is filed, the strategy will depend on the facts of the case and the non-citizen’s prior immigration history. The main question to answer in such a case: if the non- citizen may be eligible for bond and not subject to expedited removal/reinstatement of removal? Would a family be able to answer this question: very unlikely. That is why family members should seek help of an Immigration attorney as fast as possible after they learn that their non- citizen loved one was arrested. Important: the non-citizen must be instructed by his family/attorney not to sign any documents offered by the ICE prior to attorney’s review.

Very important: if a jail or prison continues to hold a non-citizen after the expiration of 48 hour period, the person might be entitled to damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and local law.


What to do if an individual is in Immigration custody? Then, an attorney should determine if the individual qualifies for an Immigration bond. Depending on removal charges and the non-citizen’s case, it might be possible to ask a judge and/or DHS to release the person pending the immigration proceedings

Sometimes the detainee has a court date already scheduled, in which case an attorney should bring two copies of the bond request with supporting documents to the Master hearing. Many times there is no court date scheduled, in which case an attorney should file the bond request with EOIR and also with DHS.

If you have immigration concerns, consult a skilled New York immigration lawyer at 917-885-2261 and find out about your options.

22 October 2012
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