The two-fold question is: does ice have the right to hold your friend and if they so and initiate removal, what are his options for relief. The answers can be obtained by contacting a reputable removal defense attorney in your area.
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It depends what the work permit is based on. If it's based on some status that already protects him from deportation, then this should stop the immigration hold once they realize. However, if he had a status and then committed a crime that could cause him to lose this status, he could be subject to deportation. If the criminal case is still pending, find a criminal defense lawyer who understands the immigration consequences of having a criminal record. You also need to consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to find how best to protect his options depending on his situation.
The information offered is general in nature and not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. No client-attorney relationship is created through this information. Please consult an attorney prior to making legal decisions.
You have not provided sufficient details to provide a definitive answer. Generally, immigration holds are placed on foreign nationals who have been arrested for some crime. Once the immigration holds are placed the law enforcement agency are required to detain the foreign national for 48 hours. The law enforcement agency cannot release this individual even if he/she has been ordered released by criminal court. Once ICE takes custody, ICE may or may not initiate the removal proceedings, depending upon the nature of crime. ICE may decide to release this individual on his/her own recognizance. In case, ICE decides to initiate the removal proceedings by issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA), then in certain circumstances, the immigration judge can redetermine the custody status and release this individual upon some bond. I would highly recommend hiring an immigration lawyer for guidance and to deal with immigration authorities.
An Immigration Hold can not be stopped unless ICE wants to remove the hold and that is something that is done on a common basis unless there is a ground for such an action such as the person being a United States Citizen.
The immigration hold will be kept in place until the time ICE obtain physical custody of the alien and makes a decision whether to release the alien because there is no grounds for further detention or court or detain him for immigration proceedings or release him upon the posting of an immigration hold or in the supervise release program, but unfortunately it is not possible to have this done without ICE making the decision and at some point a decision will be made except as I told you if he is a US Citizen and apparently it is not.
This response is intended as a legal advise but at no time will constitute attorney client privilege or serve the basis as a negligence malpractice action. The legal advise is based on the facts presented in the question and are based on a general application of the Law as it exists.