Can They do That? What They're Allowed to Do in an ICE Detainer Hold

June 01, 2019

Action Immigration

Have you or a loved one recently been detained by ICE? If so, you need to understand what you should expect and what is the appropriate treatment for you or your loved one during an ICE detainer hold.

Here is a simple guide to understanding what happens during an ICE detainer hold and how you can expect to be assisted and treated.

ICE Detainer: What They're Allowed to Do 

It's often a frightening experience being taken into an ICE detainer hold. Fortunately, you still have rights and should expect a certain degree of respectful treatment. 

What is an ICE Detainer Hold?

Also known as an immigration hold, an ICE detainer hold is a way for the U.S. government to work through local law enforcement to place illegal immigrants into the deportation system.

During an ICE detainer, the federal government makes a written request to have state or local law enforcement officers, (or the jail in which a person was taken into custody), hold an individual for an extra 48 hours. 

This 48-hour hold after the initial release date allows the government time to allow the ICE to decide if the person should be taken into federal custody for deportation.

Potential Government Pitfalls

At times, the ICE's practice of using ICE detainer holds may result in litigation and serious constitutional concerns if a person is held without probable cause, due process, or legitimate charges being pressed.

Because of this, as a detainee, it's important to be aware of what the ICE can and cannot do to you during a detainer hold.

A Detainer Does Not Mean Deportation

Just because you or a loved one have been placed on a detainer by the ICE does not necessarily mean things will result in deportation. It does however often result in jail time extending longer than an average citizen would during a pretrial stay.

Normally, a citizen could post bail with a promise to appear. If you are on a detainer, you may stay in jail until your court date.

Unlawful Detention and Your Rights

As an immigrant or detainee, it's important to realize that if the ICE does not assume custody of you within the 48 hours, the request becomes void and law enforcement is required to release you.

There are some remedies to unlawful detention. The way to avoid it is to be informed about your rights and be sure you have access to a reliable attorney to protect your freedoms.

Be aware that even on a detainer, you may still have access to "alternatives to incarceration" or ATIs. These consist of rehab or other treatment services that typical citizens may gain access to instead of extended incarceration.

Completing such ATIs may help in the future with lessening charges.

Protect Your Rights

When it comes to protecting your rights and ensuring you are treated fairly during an ICE detainer, knowledge is power. The more you understand what fair treatment is required, the less likely you are to be taken advantage of and denied freedom.

Contact us for help pursuing litigation for unfair treatment, or even just understanding why it may be needed.

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