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What does Detained mean on the immigrations forms, Example, Have you ever been arrested, cited or detained?

Minneapolis, MN |

If someone is stopped at the airport and pulled over from immigration line and being questioned and then he is good to go does that means the person was detained?

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Attorney answers 3


No, what you experienced is called primary or secondary inspection. You have to be locked up in a jail or DHS holding facility more often for immigration reasons. A detention means that you were locked up pending investigation of some sort. This can include any detention for any reason.

If you have other concerns contact an experienced immigration attorney.



what is a an arrest ,is it diff from citation.or being cited?


Detention means to taken into custody. Some prisons detain migrants or asylum seekers purely under Immigration Act powers.

detention n detention [-ˈten-] the state of being imprisoned The criminals are in detention. Kernerman English Learner’s Dictionary © 1986-2008.

Getting questioned at the airport by TSA officials is something different.

Check with an immigration lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

Good luck to you.

God bless.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.


Generally, if you were pulled aside at the airport, you were either in primary and/or secondary inspection. My understanding is that Customs and Border Protection does not consider this detention. However, the exact answer to your question may depend on the exact wording of the quesiton on the form. You should consult an attorney for specific, detailed advice pertaining to your situation.

Please feel free to call me to schedule a consultation with me if you have additional questions.

I strongly advise consulting with an immigration attorney before filing any papers with immigration, particularly if the person for whom you are filing has any past negative immigration or criminal history and is in the United States. There is always a risk of removal from the United States.

Good luck to you.

Angela Bortel
Sole Member and Attorney
The Bortel Firm, LLC
701 4th Ave. S., Ste. 500
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Admitted to practice in California and Minnesota

Consultations available in person, by telephone and now by Skype!

Note: The above answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney client relationship is created unless a retainer is signed by the attorney and the client.

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