Immigration Deportation/Removal in Alaska. A practical guide to who is who in deportaion in Alaska.
This guide is to provide individuals who are detained by immigration in Alaska with a practical guide to the deportation process in this state. The most important lesson here is that even though immigration law is federal, the nature of Alaska's reality makes things here very different.
Who detains you?In Alaska you may be detained by either the police (Anchorage or state) or ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). In the first case, you would be detained for a criminal issue (DUI or driving without a licence, for example) and an immigration hold would be placed upon you aside from the criminal issue. There, immigration has 48 hours to make that hold effective. Otherwise you would have to be released by the state authorities. If the state does not release you within that time, you may file for a habeas corpus in state or federal court.
If ICE detains you, then you would be held under federal custody based upon immigration charges. In either case you must act promptly in order to obtain your release or solve your situation.
In either situation you will be placed in a local jail because ICE DOES NOT HAVE DETENTION CENTERS IN ALASKA. This means that if you are not released while in Alaska, you will be transferred to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. You may continue trying to be released there, but if you are released, you will have to make your way back to Alaska on your own.
Who can release you?Two agencies can release you. 1) ICE: They set a parole (bond) amount which you may pay in order to be released. 2) An immigration judge. If ICE will not give you a bond, or the amount is over $10,000.00, you can ask an immigration judge to set a bond for you. The sooner you do this the better because it will avoid a lengthy stay in immigration detention or even being transferred to the detention center in Tacoma, Washington. If you are transferred to Tacoma you can still request an immigration bond.
What should you do?As with any encounter with police, you have a right to remain silent and to ask for an attorney. (And yes, ICE is a police agency. They are the immigration police. They can detain you, formulate charges against you, etc. In other words, they can use police powers to enforce immigration law.) So, you do not need to give any information to ICE or the police if you do not want to do so. Also, you have a right to have an attorney of your choosing - paid for by you. This is different from criminal cases where the state has to provide you with a lawyer. In immigration cases, you get a lawyer only if you hire one. Either way you have the right to get one so ask for it. The sooner you get a lawyer, the faster you will have someone helping you to solve your immigration issues so that you can remain in the U.S.
Paying a Bond in AnchorageYou should pay a bond with a cashier's check or postal money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Be sure to fill in the name and alien number of the person for whom you are paying the bond on the memo line. In order to pay, go to the second floor of the immigration building at 620 East 10th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501, where ICE/ERO is located. You should be able to pay between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Remember that if a judge gave the order you should take a copy of the order with you. You must also take a government issued photo ID, proof of US citizenship or green card, and your Social Security card.
Who should you call?Call an immigration lawyer (not a real estate attorney or a criminal lawyer, they will help you with your house or your DUI, but they will not have the experience to handle an immigration detention case). Call an immigration lawyer that regularly practices in the area of immigration detention. Not all immigration lawyers know what to do when ICE detains their clients, and even fewer know how to get their clients released. Make sure that the immigration lawyer you choose has dealt with immigration detention cases extensively. It is a very complex area of law.