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What Happens When an Immigrant is Detained by ICE?

Women hugging on the beach reunited detained by ICE

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is responsible for an array of matters related to the enforcement of immigration laws. While many recognize their involvement with international criminal matters or border control efforts, they are also responsible for ensuring that all immigrants within the country are here with the proper documentation and permissions. Because renewing immigration documentation or obtaining extended stays in the country often proves to be a lengthy and difficult process, many immigrants opt to overstay their Visas. Although these individuals were once in the country legally, an expired Visa warrants legal action through the U.S. immigration system. In these situations, the immigrant is detained by ICE until a decision is made regarding their specific circumstances. 

The Initial Arrest is Made

An initial arrest by ICE may occur as the result of a workplace raid, a traffic stop, or as the result of an encounter with a local law enforcement agent (LEA). Once the agent discovers that the immigrant does not have the proper paperwork, they are typically arrested and taken to either a local contracted prison or a nearby ICE detention center. Here, they will work to determine further information about the immigrant such as where they are from and how long they have been in the country. 

Bond Eligibility is Determined

Shortly after an immigrant is detained by ICE, the agency will use the information that they have gathered to decide bond eligibility. Those who are cooperative, have no criminal records, and do not pose a risk to national security are often eligible for release through what is known as an immigration bond. These same factors are used to determine the cost of the bond and the immigrants’ loved ones are provided with the opportunity to pay the bond to secure their release. 

Immigration Bond Options: In many cases, immigrants with families who are unable to pay the cost of the bond in full turn to immigration bond services for assistance. Typically, this only requires them to pay a small portion of the total cost to secure the release of the immigrant detained by ICE. Those who can pay in full may do so directly to an ICE facility or they may use a program like US Immigration Bond’s 2% cash bond program to receive expert guidance and eliminate the need to work directly with ICE throughout the process.

The Detained Immigrant is Released

Once the immigrant’s bond has been paid, they are released from ICE custody. Despite this, the charges brought forth by the ICE agency do not disappear. The case will still progress through the court system and the immigrant still faces the possibility of deportation upon the conclusion of the case. Likewise, they must abide by the terms of their bond to avoid being taken back into ICE custody before the case is resolved. In many cases, these cases take several months to more than a year to conclude meaning that this time is invaluable to immigrants and their families as they can seek legal counsel and make plans for the future as they await a judge’s decision.

Need help or unsure of what to do when an immigrant is detained by ICE?

Reach out to US Immigration Bonds today to discuss your options and get your loved one back home quickly.