Featured News 2016 What Happens if an Illegal Immigrant is Caught?

What Happens if an Illegal Immigrant is Caught?

According to data from the Pew Research Center, there were 11.1 million illegal immigrants in the United States in 2014. Of those, 52% were from Mexico, though the number of Mexicans have been declining in recent years. Since 2009, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Central America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa have been growing.

With millions of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, it's safe to say that many of them have family ties in the U.S., which places them in fear of being caught and placed in removal proceedings. Many unauthorized immigrants fear that if they get caught, they'll be immediately deported to their home country and won't have the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Other times, they're afraid that they will be arrested and thrown in jail or prison, far away from their families. With so much fear of the unknown, illegal immigrants wonder, "What's going to happen to me and my family if I am caught?"

Rights of Unauthorized Immigrants

There are several ways that an undocumented immigrant can land on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) radar. Someone could have reported them. Or, they could have been arrested while their workplace was being raided.

Or, they may have been arrested for a DUI or domestic violence, and the local police questioned their immigration status. Or, they could have been arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Border Patrol) somewhere near the border.

What Happens After an Arrest

Let's say an undocumented immigrant is arrested for DUI or DWI and the police contact ICE. ICE may file a "detainer" and ask the police to hold the immigrant in jail for an additional 48 hours so they can interview him. If ICE does not show up within 48 hours, the immigrant must be released according to the law.

When ICE does interview such immigrants, they don't always arrest them. Sometimes ICE lets the person go home, especially if they are a parent with young children. ICE can still try to deport the person, but they'll send them home and later they would be served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court, before an immigration judge.

If the unauthorized immigrant wishes to fight the charges, they can hire an immigration attorney to help them fight to remain in the United States. For deportation defense, contact an immigration lawyer today!

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