If you have found out that someone in your family or a friend is in immigration detention, there are a few things to do in order to help them. The first and most logical step would be to find them a very good, specialized immigration detention attorney. It can generally be very difficult to find information on the person’s whereabouts. If you are interested in the detention process and how to contact and help a friend, below are a few facts about US regulations regarding immigration.
– The US Government uses this form of detention as a way of dealing with illegal and undocumented immigrants after they have been identified and arrested. Detention basically occurs under specific, aggravating circumstances and when the government decides that an immigrant may be a fight risk or a threat to the public safety. Also, the authorities may decide that person can move to another location in the United States. This form of detention will secure an immigrant’s appearance in front of a special court.
– Detention is most likely to happen when the Department of Homeland Security or the Immigration and Customs Enforcement find that the person to be detained has:
a) Committed a crime
b) Is subject to an outstanding deportation order, a pending or a due one
c) Missed a few immigration hearing dates
d) Arrived at the border without formally applying for a refugee or asylum status
There are a few things you can do after a friend or family member has been detained
– It may difficult to discover the detention location, but you can use an online resource, the ICE locator. It will be helpful to have the person’s A# number on hand, and this will generally be shown on a work permit or green card. You should know that for recent detainees, the latest info will take a while to load. The system doesn’t give you information on minors, either, so you will have to find an ICE office and get your information from there.
– In some cases, a person may have been taken to detention in a local correctional facility or local jail. It may be a good idea to call the ones located in your area, let them know who you are and ask for information. In case the detainee is in a DHS facility, the wisest thing would be to call a deportation officer or have your immigration detention attorney call them. In this case, a legal representative is helpful, as anything you say in a conversation with a state official may be used against the detainee in a court of law. So make sure not to reveal information about the immigration status of the person you are trying to help, their country of origin or other things that can be used against them.
– There will be instances of an ICE officer may refuse to discuss any detention issue with you. This is an instance where an immigration attorney will be helpful, because they can assist you better in tracking down the case’s deportation officer and maintain all official communication lines. An attorney is also helpful in case the detainee is in need of medical attention or requires special medication.
Generally, a specialized immigration detention attorney may help with both getting the preliminary info and helping get a bond hearing for getting your friend or relative out of detention while awaiting further legal action. Make sure you contact a seasoned lawyer who has handles such cases before and has all the right information and knows the right people in the system.