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Ice Detainers

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Immigration Lawyers│Deportation Defense │Appleton WI│Sheboygan WI│Green Bay WI

If immigration authorities want to obtain custody of an undocumented individual who is apprehended by local or state law enforcement agency (like the police, sheriff’s department, state police, or jail), a request to hold that individual for Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents is sent to the agency.  This request is referred to as an immigration  or ICE detainer.

An immigration detainer is a notice that ICE sends to the law enforcement agency advising that ICE intends to assume custody of the undocumented individual currently in the custody of the agency.  The immigration detainer requests that the undocumented individual be held for up to 48 business hours beyond the time he would otherwise be released (for example, after the individual secures bail; or when he finishes serving his sentence; or when his case is dismissed).

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

It is important to understand the 48 business hour requirement.  It means that an individual may be held for only 48 hours after his scheduled release date, not counting weekends or holidays.  For example, if a person is scheduled to be released from the custody of a local jail on a Monday at 5:00 pm, ICE can only request that the individual be held until Wednesday at 5:00 pm, a period of two days.  However, if a person is scheduled to be released on a Thursday at 5:00pm, ICE can request that the person be held until Monday at 5:00 pm, a period of four days.  In the first case, the 48 hours requirement runs contiguously.  In the second case, the 48 hour period is interrupted by the weekend.

An immigration detainer is not an arrest warrant and does not purport to authorize the arrest or detention beyond 48 hours of an individual by a local law enforcement agency.  An immigration detainer directs the local law enforcement agency to detain the individual for up to 48 hours after he would have been otherwise released, not when ICE authorities are contacted by the agency.  In other words, the local enforcement agency cannot hold the individual indefinitely until ICE assumes custody of him.  If ICE has not assumed custody of an individual upon the expiration of the 48 hour period, the individual must be immediately released from custody by the local law enforcement agency.  Failure to release an individual promptly upon the expiration of the 48 hour time period could lead to a habeas corpus petition in federal court seeking the individual’s release from confinement, and a civil action for false imprisonment and violation of the individual’s constitutional rights against the local law enforcement agency.

It is important than an individual in the custody of a law enforcement agency speak with an immigration attorney if there is an immigration detainer against him.  An immigration detainer can affect the decision of whether an individual wants to secure bail to be released from jail.  Also, immigration detainers may affect an individual’s ability to participate in work-release programs while incarcerated.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detainer Policy here.

WHAT ICE ISN’T TELLING YOU (or law enforcement agencies) ABOUT DETAINERS here.


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My husband had never been in any legal trouble before and we didn’t know what to do or what the process was. Attorney Kaehne was very upfront and willing to explain every step of the way. My husband can be very skeptical when it comes to trusting people with his best interest, but Attorney Kaehne always remained professional and helpful. My husband was facing the possibility of years in prison and Attorney Kaehne was able to get the matter dismissed. He will always be our first choice!

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Attorney Kaehne always communicated with me on what was going on and his plans for future court appearances. The outcome of the case was far more better than I expected and am really pleased that Chad did what he did to get this issue resolved.

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Attorney Corey Mehlos gave my case the upmost attention. He worked very hard and many long hours on it. I was impressed with his dedication and his understanding to my wishes. Not Guilty verdict at my jury trial. I highly recommend him.

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The best lawyer you can hire for your case! Chad was extremely helpful and polite in answering all of my questions. I was even getting responses to my emails at 9 at night. He did a great job helping me get through the legal process. I recommend him to anyone needing a good lawyer.

Keen Sense of Justice and Honesty

Amaro is a very efficient attorney with extensive knowledge of the hispanic culture and language. He has a keen sense of justice and honesty. For the years I have know him he has proven to be a source of counsel. His clients will find his humble and cordial demeanor, appealing and refreshing. This is why I would recommend Amaro to everyone looking for legal advice.

Never Stops Working

An excellent attorney. Nicholas was very helpful with our case. He excelled at explaining complex legal concepts. Very accessible, we never had an issue getting an answer to a question. I don't think he stops working. Highly recommended.

Passion and Understanding for her Clients' Wishes

Attorney Cottle helped with my immigration case, she made the whole process much less stressful and you could tell she had a passion and understanding for her clients' wishes. Great experience, would highly recommend!

Available and Responsive to Needs of her Clients

Attorney Laborde shows professionalism in everything she does. She is a thorough lawyer who honestly cares about her clients and represents them to her full ability. She makes herself available and is responsive to the needs of her clients. I would certainly recommend her family law services!

Over-the-Top Attorney

From my experience, Attorney Kelsi Cottle has been an over-the-top attorney. She keeps me apprised of my case, has answered my questions, and treats me with respect. She has been very efficient, handles things expediently, and I feel I am represented by a very sharp attorney who has my best interest in mind.