Author: New York Deportation attorney Alena Shautsova
You just learned that your loved one was arrested and ICE put a hold on him/her. What do you need to do?
The first thing to do would be to consult with Criminal defense and Immigration attorneys. Very often, when an undocumented person or a permanent resident get arrested for criminal charges, the immigration authorities file an Immigration detainer: a document stating that upon release from the State or Federal custody, the person should be held up to 48 hours for ICE to come and take the person into their custody as they have a reason to believe the person is removable from the US. Most of the time, the basis for removal will be the pending criminal charges, which if come true (if the person is convicted or pleads guilty to them) will also become a problem under immigration laws. (See INA 212 and INA 237 for the list of offences that may render a person inadmissible or deportable).
As such, it is important to have the right defense attorney working on the case as soon as possible to make sure that the person will be provided the best possible defense to the alleged criminal conduct.
Further, under current regulations, a Criminal defense attorney must provide a non-citizen with a competent advice regarding immigration consequences of the charges the person will be pleading guilty to. If the Criminal defense attorney does not possess the required expertise, he or she must seek an assistance of competent Immigration attorney who can advise on the matter. It is advisable to meet with an Immigration attorney early in the case, so the Immigration attorney can prepare a strategy of defense against removal in Immigration court. If the person is incarcerated, his/her family members or friends should make appropriate arrangements.
Generally, the best possible case scenario is to avoid criminal conviction all together. If it is not possible, than the person should try to receive a plea bargain that does not make him/her deportable and/or inadmissible. Each situation is different depending on availability of potential defenses such adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, asylum, waivers, VAWA or U visa. Even the most experienced attorney will not be able to give correct and competent advice without gathering all the information about the person placed in removal proceedings, such as prior Immigration and Criminal history, current employment and family situation, possibility of qualifying for VAWA or U visa.
Removal and ICE hold can be stressful and scary to deal with it on your own. The Immigration laws a complex, and quiet often their true meaning is not what a lay person may think. If you have any questions about removal and ICE hold please call Deportation attorney Alena Shautsova 917-885-2261.