Are deportation arrests more common than they used to be?
Yes—ICE reports that they have arrested 110,568 people since the end of 2017’s fiscal year, a 42 percent jump from the same period a year ago.
What happens after a deportation arrest?
If someone is already under a deportation order, ICE has the authority to immediately deport the detainee. The only way to prevent that from happening is if a lawyer successfully argues for a stay of removal from the judge. A lawyer can also argue for the case to be re-opened, depending on how much the individual’s circumstances have changed.
If the detainee is not under a deportation order, they can still apply for relief programs, like asylum. Arrestees still have time, even if they don’t qualify for relief—immigration courts are overworked and arrestees can appeal their case multiple times.
Can ICE make arrests wherever they want?
Legally, ICE is bound by the Constitution when making arrests, so they are still barred from entering private residences without a warrant (or the resident’s permission). ICE has also made a voluntary commitment to steer away from making arrests at schools, hospitals, public demonstrations, and places of worship. They’ve also promised to limit arrests at courthouses.
However, these are voluntary commitments—meaning the law does not protect you just because you’re attending church or visiting a loved one in the hospital. ICE has also continued to arrest people within a short radius of these locations because people feel overly safe around them.
Is ICE obligated to let deportees say bye to their families?
No. Mr. Jamal, a man who was arrested, readied for deportation, and then given a stay of removal, nearly left the country without being able to hug his family first. His family alleges that the officers forbade them from hugging him after the arrest.
So if you’re arrested far from your home, belongings, or loved ones, ICE is under no legal obligation to make sure you say bye or are allowed to pack your things.
Some arrestees are allowed to go free for a short period of time following their arrest, as long as they voluntarily leave the country by a certain date. This most often applies to those without a criminal record who are early in the deportation process.
Do contributions to society make any difference?
ICE can determine on an individual basis whether or not a detainee should be deported. For instance, someone receiving treatment or caring for a loved one with a serious illness could provide a stay of removal. However, ICE is not under any obligation to do so—thankfully, the agency has responded to public pressure with regard to deportation cases before. If enough people speak up on behalf of those with dire needs, ICE may relent on a case-by-case basis.
If you or someone you know was arrested and faces deportation, turn to The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. for help. We’ve helped thousands of immigrants fight for their right to a trial, securing favorable results for countless individuals and families.