Immigration Detention and How to Deal with the Situation

person holding on to jail bars

Immigrants who are detained must adhere to a set of regulations. Depending on your circumstances, you may be exempt from immigration law, such as if you have been convicted of a crime or received a final order of removal. In addition, depending on how the federal courts have interpreted the immigration laws in your state, the requirements may be somewhat different.

Detention is authorized under the law for individuals who are subject to deportation and removal, as well as those who may be granted a visa and be permitted to enter the country without restriction. This is a government entity that is entirely apart from both the police and the criminal justice system. The only way to determine if someone is in prison or not is based on whether they have a criminal conviction or charge against them.

Examples include being imprisoned and denied the right to leave at will by any judicial, administrative, or other authority, according to Article 4 of the Optional Protocol to the CAT.

When Does Immigration Detention Happen

man in a suit with handcuffs

Immigration detention may occur at different times. When they first arrive, a person’s lawful immigration status may be questioned by immigration authorities, especially those who cannot verify their identification. Officials may contact someone for the first time after an arrest, an investigation, or any other kind of encounter with them. An airport or seaport may be the place where the initial meeting takes place. To authenticate a person’s identification or establish the reason for their entry or stay in the country, some governments may hold them.

A person may be held indefinitely by certain authorities while their immigration request is being processed. Detention during an “expedited” or “quick track” proceeding, or detention for the whole period it takes to process substantive claims, may be involved.

The last option available to migration authorities is custody, which may be utilized if all claims to stay in the country have been denied and the individual is being deported. The imprisonment of individuals who have been forcefully returned to another nation in Europe because they had previously submitted an asylum claim in that country falls under this category in Europe.

Here are Some of the Things You Need to Remember If Immigration Detains you

When someone is detained in an immigration detention center, an essential thing for you may be to get them out. However, be sure this is the right thing to do—immigration court procedures will go considerably faster if the individual is detained. There may be compelling reasons to see a judge sooner rather than later. However, most of the time, it is preferable to be released from custody and have an immigration court consider the matter later. An immigration lawyer can advise you on your options.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • You have the right to stay quiet in any situation.
  • You should request to consult with an attorney.
  • Do not sign anything until you have spoken with an attorney beforehand. You may be waiving your right to consult with an attorney or a judge. Record the name and telephone number of the deportation officer who has been assigned to your case in a safe place.
  • Ensure you consult with an attorney before proceeding with”voluntary departure” (that is, before agreeing to leave the United States). Signing a voluntary departure agreement implies that you will not be entitled to a hearing, that you will be required to leave the United States, and that you may never be permitted to re-enter the United States or get lawful immigration status in the country.
  • Do not sign “stipulated orders of removal” unless you have first spoken with an attorney. A stipulated order signifies that you have waived your right to a hearing before a judge and that the order acts as a final order of removal (deportation) issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • At some point, you will have to apply for immigration bonds, in which case you need the guidance of an attorney to help you.

It is critical to act promptly, mainly if the prisoner has already been deported from the United States or has an existing removal order against them (in which case they have no right to see an immigration judge). A prisoner may be released within a few days, if not hours, after being taken into custody for the first time.

Even if the individual is not immediately removed from custody, the government may transfer detainees between facilities, and in some instances, to other states, if the prisoner seems to have no close relatives in the region, without providing prior notice.

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