How Broad Is ICE Authority? Know the Facts and Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

November 20, 2020

Action Immigration

For immigrants in the United States, ICE is like the big bad wolf. If you aren't originally from this country, you might think it's only a matter of time before they get your scent and take you away from your friends and family.

However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. 

Here is some information that can help you protect yourself and your loved ones from ICE authority.  

The Origins of ICE

ICE is short for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It was created on the first of March, 2003 for the purpose of protecting the U.S. from cross-border crime and illegal immigration. 

ICE's Reach

Even if you're a law-abiding immigrant, your status as undocumented can land you in a face-off with ICE.

In recent years, ICE agents have gone as far as to comb local DMV databases for targets. Previously, their main methods of operating included analyzing booking fingerprints from state and local jails. 

Now with social media's prevalence, anything you post online can be used to track you or someone you know. And they can get away with dragging undocumented citizens out of their homes or workplaces because their very existence in this country is considered illegal.


When an undocumented immigrant is detained, the court holds them until a judge can decide whether or not they are being sent back to their origin country. When a large influx of detainments happens in a short amount of time, these ICE holds can last months, and in some cases, over a year. 

After a scheduled release date, a detainee should be released within 48 hours afterward. In some cases, however, immigrants have been locked up for more than six months after they got their removal orders. 

When ICE detains someone you know, it's important to act fast. You should look up their information online and keep track of their location while you seek legal help.

Expedited Removal

Under the expansion of expedited removal, an immigration officer can quickly deport any individual that has entered and stayed illegally within the past two years. Previously, the limit was within 100 miles of an international border and within 14 days. 

As an undocumented immigrant, you must have a safety plan including documented proof of the length of your stay in the U.S., maintaining legal contacts, and knowing your rights. You should also have your affairs in order just in case things don't go your way. 

ICE Authority in a Nutshell

Now that you know a little more about ICE authority and ICE holds, you should take the time to look up the immigration rights protecting your stay here. 

And just in case you do end up detained, reach out to us for help paying immigration bonds. With our help, your loved one should be home within the day.  

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