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If the police suspect that you are undocumented, you absolutely can.  It is called an immigration detainer.Let me give you a hypothetical.  Maria, an undocumented immigrant, was involved in an abusive relationship.  She was repeatedly beaten by her partner, but never called the police.  After one brutal beating, when she finally fought back and called the police, she gets arrested along with her husband.  The police not knowing who to believe arrest both husband and wife.  Maria, being undocumented gets placed on an immigration detainer for days until the detainer is canceled.  Now if Maria didn’t speak English she might have been detained even if she was a citizen.  If police can’t communicate with her, and her husband was uncooperative she could still be detained for days until the police get the facts straight.

Immigration holds are requests by an ICE officer to have local authorities hold someone up to 48 hours after local charges are resolved. No probable cause needs to be shown.  It usually no more than a suspicion that someone is undocumented.  It is the only circumstance in our laws where someone can be jailed without due process, bedrock of our criminal justice system.

Mistakes are made.  ICE agents relying on birthplace, language, or physical appearance mistake one person for another.  That means someone can be jailed and placed into removal hearings based on mistakes, sometimes it even happens to U.S. citizens who are mistaken for undocumented immigrants.

We shouldn’t ignore our constitution when it becomes inconvenient.

Abandoning these principles under the guise of protecting public safety or controlling unauthorized immigration is not sound public policy, and it does not make us safer. ICE does not need an immigration hold to deport a serious or violent offender, or any offender.  Anytime a person is arrested and booked in jail, a background check is run. Personal details, including fingerprint information, are automatically shared with federal authorities. ICE can determine criminal history and investigate immigration status. It doesn’t require an immigration detainer.

If you or a loved one has been detained by ICE, you can

  1. Call 888-695-6169 today for a private consultation;
  2. Fill out the contact form on this page; or
  3. Click on the live chat to speak to someone right away.

We help immigrants, one detainer at a time.