What is an immigration detainer and how can it affect you?

Advocacy from a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

An immigration detainer is a formal request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to state and local authorities holding an individual that directs the facility to hold the individual for up to 48 business hours after they are due to be released, in order for ICE or DHS to take custody of the individual for immigration proceedings

The detainer must be supported by probable cause that the individual is deportable.

The Secure Communities program, which is mandatory upon local law enforcement, requires that local authorities submit fingerprints of individuals taken into custody to ICE, which uses the information to determine that individual’s immigration status and whether there is probable cause to deport that person.

How Detainers can Harm You

Detainers may be issued for people who do not have criminal convictions, but have merely been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. Additionally, detainers can be issued for any crime, even misdemeanors and traffic violations.

If ICE does not arrive to take custody of the individual within 48 hours, local law enforcement is required to release the person.

Detainers may also increase the likelihood that a court will deny bail, or increase the amount of bail. Courts often see the detainer as increasing the person’s flight risk: because the person may be deported if convicted, that person is less likely to return to court.

A detainer is only a request and local authorities do not have to comply. Some cities have enacted policies of refusing to comply, and will not hold individuals who are due to be released. These policies can be the result of a belief that the immigration detainers erode trust between local law enforcement and their communities, or simply the extra cost of housing individuals for an additional two days.

However, ICE may still take that individual into custody upon their release even if the local authorities refuse to comply with the detainer. ICE is just unable to rely on local authorities to hold the individual for them.

Your Best Defense: A Skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

The first step to preventing an immigration detainer is having a criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable of the immigration consequences of the criminal charges against you and who will defend against those consequences.

If you already have a criminal conviction, a skilled attorney with knowledge of the local courts can determine a resolution for your current case designed to best insulate you from any negative immigration consequences. Additionally, the attorneys at Moaddel Law Firm can file post-conviction motions to clear up your record.

Give Moaddel Law Firm a call for the legal advice you need—(877) 375-8188!