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What is an ICE Hold?

What is ICE and How could it Affect Me?

ICE holds are becoming an increasingly common tool of local law enforcement agencies in Texas and throughout the South and Southwestern United States. This leads to more people being confronted with the “ICE HOLD” or “ICE DETAINER” label when they find out their loved one as been arrested then ever before, and it can be a very confusing situation to confront. Here at Guest & Gray we have experienced immigration attorneys who can help you navigate the complicated waters of the ICE detainer system.

An ICE hold or detainer is a legal hold placed on an individual in the custody of a local law enforcement agency or “LEA” placed on them by the LEA through through an agreement with ICE. Essentially, when someone is arrested, they are generally fingerprinted as part of their processing. Those fingerprints and the individual’s ID information are then sent out to various local and federal law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, ICE. When the jurisdiction holding your loved one has an agreement with ICE to participate in the Detainer Program, ICE can send back notice to the LEA that they have an interest in obtaining custody of the individual in question. To indicate this interest, ICE will send over a DHS Form I-247 to the LEA that indicates that they have an interest, and the reason for the interest (such as an outstanding warrant, or order of removal). This I-247 also includes a Notice to the Detainee that there is a detainer placed on the individual. The law requires the LEA to give the individual notice that they are being held because of the detainer, and what their rights are regarding that. As an ultimate result of the detainer, the individual in question will be detained 48 hours past the date the LEA officially relinquishes custody.

What Does That Mean and What Should I Do?

In plain language, a detainer means that if your relative or friend bonds out of whatever place is holding them, they will be detained an extra 48 hours for ICE to come get them. These 48 hours excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. If the Department of Homeland Security or ICE does not take custody of your friend or loved one during those 48 hours, they should be released from custody by the LEA, but that does not always happen. And remember, those 48 hours don’t start until you are otherwise released, or post bail.

It is really important for you or your loved ones to contact an experienced immigration attorney, like those at Guest & Gray, to help you decide what to do in a complicated situation like this. There are several issues involved in dealing an ICE hold that require legal assistance, such as knowing whether you need a criminal attorney, or an immigration attorney or both; or knowing if you should post bond or not, or if you could expect to be given bail once you are in the custody of ICE. Do not take any chances with your family - we are here to help you with those tough choices.

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