An immigration hold is also called an immigration detainer. It means that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) branch is making a claim against an immigrant being held in state or federal jail. You may have broken a law, been charged with a felony, and face some jail time. What happens is the ICE can take you from the jail and deport you, though giving you a chance to plead your case.
Being deported is very scary. You had the chance to live in here, but some mistakes were made. The problem is that immigration law itself is such a divisive issue. And today the ICE has more legal power and the desire to deport immigrants who’ve overstayed their time here or broken criminal laws.
What can you be deported for?
There are three kinds of crimes: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. An infraction is a minor mistake like speeding or running a stop sign. A misdemeanor is more serious, such as a drinking and driving DUI arrest, where you can be deported. Felonies are the worst, such as assaulting someone, and quite often come with jail time. If you end up going to jail, the ICE can take you from jail and give you a hearing. You will then be asked on the nature of the crime, have the opportunity to post bail, and possibly face deportation.
Assuming you have a green card, you are in danger of deportation. That’s why citizenship is desired by many: you cannot be deported.
What happens after?
The ICE will find you, hold you, and decide what to do next. They will go over your information, and give you a chance to explain yourself. In most serious crimes, you can be deported. The ICE will be going through your immigration status, so that if you are here illegally, no matter the crime, you are now in danger of being deported.
Getting Immigration Law Help
An immigration hold requires the help of a very knowledgeable immigration lawyer. Being deported is the worst possible thing which can occur. You should also consult with a criminal lawyer on how best to defend yourself. In order to properly know your rights, and to stay here, an immigration lawyer is invaluable. But in any misdemeanor or felony charge, you also should hire a criminal lawyer. Even though you are an immigrant, you still have legal rights. A lawyer can help defend them.