What should I do if I am arrested by immigration authorities?
More than 600 people were recently arrested within a one-week span across at least 11 different States. As of now, it is not clear whether the arrests are part of ongoing efforts to arrest undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions or involve the escalation of deportations or removals by the Trump administration. President Trump has vowed to crackdown on illegal immigrants, creating fear among the immigrant population. However, thus far, fewer immigrants have been arrested under the Trump administration than under the Obama administration. Immigrants and deportation and removal attorneys are closely watching the actions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as the new administration to protect those with undocumented status.
What to Do If You Are Arrested or Detained by Immigration Authorities?
Immigration authorities may arrest individuals for a number of reasons. Most often, immigration will detain individuals who have committed a crime, arrived at the border without a visa or without applying for asylum or refugee status, have an outstanding deportation on record, or missed immigration hearing dates. Being arrested by immigration can be frightening, but it is important to remember that you do have rights and your detention does not necessarily have to lead to deportation.
If you are arrested or detained by immigration authorities, you need to remember:
- You have the right to remain silent and request a lawyer.
- Do not sign any documents without consulting with your immigration attorney as you could unknowingly be signing away your rights.
- Do not agree to a voluntary removal without contacting an attorney as you will be waiving your right to a hearing and may never be allowed to enter the United States again.
- Immigration will have a limited time, usually 48 hours, to decide whether to release you, set bond, or continue deportation proceedings.
- In most cases, your family will have the opportunity to secure your release by posting a set bond amount. You will need to appear back in court for a hearing on the matter.
- You may be able to contest your removal if you can demonstrate a need for asylum, or your continuous presence in the U.S. for 10 years, good moral character, and other factors.
If you or a friend or a family member may be facing potential deportation/removal, contact the VISASERVE Team and the NPZ Law Group by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (201) 670-0006. Our team of experienced attorneys will provide you with the skilled representation you need when your life and freedom are on the line.