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April 23, 2014

New ICE Measures to Protect Aliens Detained by Local Law Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken some new measures to ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights. 

The new measures include a new detainer form and the launch of a toll-free hotline. Detained individuals can call the hotline, (855) 448-6903, if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. The hotline will be staffed by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center and translation services will be available. ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.

An immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) to inform them that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual and to request that the LEA notify ICE prior to the time when the individual would otherwise be released. The new detainer form includes:

  • A request that the LEA provide the detainee with notice that ICE intends to assume custody;
  • Emphasis that LEAs may only hold an individual for a period not to exceed 48 hours and a notice advising individuals that if ICE does not take them into custody within the 48 hours, they should contact the LEA to inquire about their release;
  • Directions for individuals who may have a civil rights or civil liberties complaint regarding ICE activities; and
  • Emphasis that the existence of a detainer should not impact or prejudice the individual's conditions of detention.

The new form also allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual's conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.

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About the Author

Shareholder

William J. Flynn, III is the Practice Leader of the International Practice Group.  His practice includes a large immigration practice representing foreign nationals and U.S. corporations that employ foreign nationals. In this capacity, he represents clients before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of State.

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