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Immigration Detention

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What Is Immigration Detention?

The U.S. government may detain undocumented immigrations even after their arrests are over. When this happens, loved ones may have a difficult time locating the undocumented immigrant.

Is Detention Legal?

Yes. The U.S. government has the right to detain people who are not in the United States legally.

Why Is the Person Being Detained?

Undocumented immigrants are detained when the detention officer believes he is a flight risk or a threat to public safety. The purpose of the detention is to ensure that the undocumented immigrant appears before the Immigration Court on his court date.

The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain people for many reasons. These include:

  • Committed crime
  • Arrived at the U.S. border without a visa or asylum
  • Deportation order
  • Missed immigration court dates

How to Locate the Detainee

Family and friends can locate detainees on the ICE’s website. This website lists person based on their alien numbers, green card numbers, and work permits.

If the person is not located in ICE, then the Department of Homeland Security or a jail may have detained him. However, please be wary of calling the Department of Homeland Security if you are uncertain that an undocumented immigrant is located there. If an undocumented immigrant was never detained in the first place, you may have tipped off the deportation officer of the undocumented immigrant’s whereabouts, and thus, get the undocumented immigrant deported.

Finally, you may retain an immigration attorney to help you locate the detainee.

How to Free the Detainee

When the detainee is located, you may free him by filing a motion for a bond hearing. A lawyer can help with this process.

Every detainee has a right to a bond hearing to determine whether he can be released. If the release is granted, a bond will be set. The bond will have to be paid before he is released.

Consulting an Attorney

If you need help locating an undocumented immigrant, please contact an immigration lawyer. A lawyer will prevent you from acting rashly and putting an undocumented immigrant in harm’s way.

Photo of page author Mabel Yee

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 03-09-2015 10:52 AM PDT

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