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If you have a family member who is currently detained by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) right now or if you think that you or your family member could potentially be detained in the custody of ICE, you should be aware of the following:

  • Your family member will most likely have an ICE Detainer lodged against them if they are arrested for a DWI matter, domestic dispute, or if criminal charges are raised against them
  • Your family member will not be released immediately from the jail on any bail amount that you might want to pay immediately upon their arrest because ICE has at least 48-hours to respond to the jail hold and place an ICE Detainer on them
  • Your family member will most likely be transferred to one of the many Detention Facilities in the nearby area which are: Delaney Hall (Newark, NJ), Elizabeth Detention Center (Elizabeth, NJ), Essex County Correctional (354 Doremus Avenue, Newark, NJ) or the (Hudson County Correctional (Kearny, NJ)
  • Your family member will speak to an ICE Officer known as the DO (Deportation Officer) who will ask him or her about her background, family history, how long they have been living in the United States, and their arrests/convictions
  • The ICE Officer may or may not decide to set a bond amount. The bond amount is like a bail. Normally, if it is set by an ICE Officer, it will be in the amount of $3,000 to $50,000. There is no 10% and if you cannot afford the bond, you will either have to request a date for your family member to go before an Immigration Judge to reduce the bond by a motion to be submitted by an immigration attorney or you will have to locate a Bondsman who will front the money for you while you pay him a portion or in installments
  • Be aware that the ICE Officers are not here to help you or your family member. Their job is to deport immigrants. They do not have to explain your rights to you, they may try to obtain your family member’s passport from you and they may also attempt to have your family member sign documents that will prevent them from being able to see an Immigration Judge. This document is known as the Stipulated Order of Removal. The DO from the ICE Office will meet your family member and have him or her sign documents that will expedite their deportation and Order them Deported. They present this document to the Immigration Judge in either Elizabeth or Newark and once signed, your family member will wait to be sent back to his home country
  • Be aware that the ICE Officer who sees your family member (also known as the DO), will also serve him or her with what is called a Notice to Appear before the Immigration Court. This document is given to your family member for him or her to sign because it begins the deportation process and they will ask him or her if they want to go before an Immigration Judge if a bond amount is not set. Your family member should always choose to go before an Immigration Judge
  • If you or a family member has an old Order of Deportation or Removal, you do not have a right to go before an Immigration Judge. If you or your family member failed to leave the United States under a Voluntary Departure, the same removal from the United States applies. You must first seek to re-open your family members deportation proceedings before he or she can be released from ICE custody or see an Immigration Judge. During that time, your family member can be moved around from one Detention Center to another and far away from you

There are too many sad scenarios and circumstances for me to explain in simply one article. Thus, if you would like a consultation regarding this article, please do not hesitate to contact me to schedule an appointment:

Michele Alcalde, Esq.
331 Newman Springs Road
Building 1, Suite 143
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Office (732) 784-1822

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