Five Things You Must Know and/or Do If ICE Detains Your Loved One
ICE has broad authority to apprehend and detain individuals who are not in the US legally and/or have legal status but committed or have been charged with certain crimes. If apprehended, your loved one is likely to be in immigration court proceedings before a Judge and may or may not remain detained
Stay CalmGetting apprehended by ICE is a scary process to any individual and his or her family members and friends. Nonetheless, it is important to stay calm. Staying calm will help you help your loved one as you begin to familiarize yourself with his or her immigration court and custody proceedings. And many individuals find immigration relief after being apprehended by ICE.
Find The Location Where Your Loved One Is Being DetainedICE has a lot of discretion to move detainees throughout the country. Use the following ICE link entitled ONLINE DETAINEE LOCATOR SYSTEM to locate *where* your loved one is located: https://locator.ice.gov/odls/#/index. Unfortunately, the system is not perfect and it may sometimes take a few days for your loved one's information to be inputted into the system.
Assess Whether Your Loved One Is Eligible For Release Through a BondUnfortunately, once apprehended, not everyone is eligible to be released from detention.
However, the good news is that many individuals who are apprehended are eligible for release from detention if they pay a BOND to the US Government. A BOND is money your loved one pays to the Government to be released from detention. S/he will lose this money, if s/he fails to appear at any future court hearing, but s/he will get back the full amount of the BOND at the conclusion of her or his court proceedings, if s/he shows up at *all* immigration court hearings.
Amount of BOND varies based upon several factors. It is almost always at least $1,500. In today's political climate, there is no guarantee your loved one will be released on BOND. The TWO main things to show to be granted release on BOND is that your loved one is NOT a SECURITY RISK (s/he has clean or minor criminal history) and NOT a FLIGHT RISK (s/he can establish s/he will appear at all future court hearings). Your loved one should be prepared to pay as much as $10,000, if s/he has no criminal record and a higher amount, if s/he has any criminal record.
ICE officials can themselves choose to release your loved one on his or her own recognizance (meaning, no bond), but this is unlikely. And ICE officials can themselves choose to release your loved one on a BOND that they determine, which is also unlikely unless they do not have sufficient space to house your loved one.
More likely, your loved one will have to obtain release through a BOND Hearing before an Immigration Judge. Generally, if ICE fails to release your loved one, it will take about 2-4 weeks before s/he is scheduled for a BOND Hearing before an Immigration Judge. In other words, your loved one is likely to be detained for at least 2-4 weeks.
Gather All Immigration Materials Specific to You and Your Loved OneWhether you communicate with an ICE Officer, other Government Official, and/or an attorney trying to assist you, the more information and documents you have the more likely it will be that you can obtain the necessary information and materials needed to assist your loved one to be released from custody (detention) and/or assist with his or her immigration court proceedings.
The most important information and materials to have on hand are: (i) Your loved one's A# (a nine-digit number often found on any immigration correspondence provided by the Government and/or LPR card); (ii) a copy of any FINAL ORDER OF REMOVAL, if applicable; and (iii) a copy of your loved one's passport (current and/or expired). It is important to gather these and any other materials you think may be relevant in assisting your loved one in a BOND hearing and/or his or her immigration court proceedings.
Research Immigration BOND ProceedingsBond Hearings and immigration court proceedings tend to be complicated and the process is often confusing, so it is important to carefully research the process as much as possible to make sure you are in a position to assist your loved one. It is best if you are able to consult with an experienced immigration attorney, especially an attorney who has experience with BOND Hearings and/or immigration court proceedings.
Many attorneys provide free telephone consultations, and, at minimum, can point you to nonprofit organizations who may be in a position to provide free legal assistance.