As the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, short “ICE”, enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.
As part of their Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), ICE agents identify, detain and deport persons from the US for violations of immigration laws.
ICE Immigration Detention and ICE Deportation
Once a person is apprehended by ICE agents because he/she has been found in violation of US immigration laws, the usual procedure is that the person will be placed in ICE immigration detention until the outcome of their case is decided.
For the detained individual this could mean to face ICE immigration deportation, the removal of the person from the US by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Time spent in detention can vary, depending on each case. For example, if there are previous convictions, deportation proceedings will usually be rather quick and the person will be flown out the US within a few days. However, detention could also last several weeks and in some cases much longer.
Depending on each individual case, the detained person can also start with the proper legal procedures if circumstances allow so, trying to obtain legal residency status in the US.
ICE Detention Facilities in the US
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has several detention facilities all over the United States. At this point, there are approximately 30,000 men and women in the US which are in immigration custody. The detention centers can be normal jails as well as detention centers, some of which are outsourced to private companies. To make it easier to locate a person who is currently in ICE custody, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an online detainee locator system which can be accessed via https://locator.ice.gov/odls/homePage.do.
Detention centers or facilities can be far away from where the individual is originally from. This makes it clear why ICE immigration detention can be so stressful to any individual involved, including their families and friends. Not only will the person have to fear about the uncertain outcome of the case facing potential deportation, it will also be difficult to give them the needed support due to possibly long distances involved to the detention center where the person is placed in.
Getting the urgently needed legal help will surely not be made easier while a person is in US custody.
Once detained in an ICE facility, the detained individual can be released from ICE immigration custody on bond. Immigration bail can be posted by another lawful person residing in the US or via a 3rd person or company, referred to as Bondsman. Immigration bail will then allow the person to be free until his/her appearance in court. However, certain requirements must be met for a person to be eligible for immigration bail.
By any means, and if individual circumstances make it possible, it is always better to have bail posted which will allow the person to be released from ICE immigration detention, at least until the case is decided.