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3 frequently asked questions about immigrant detention

Numerous factors put undocumented immigrants at risk of detention and deportation, but none more so than committing a crime. Whether you or a loved you lack papers, you might feel scared about detainment centers and the thought of deportation when criminal activity is involved. Especially in the political climate today, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what it entails. 

Because there are a lot of questions about immigrant detention and deportation, here are some answers that can help you understand the process. 

1. Why do immigrants get detained?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) generally detains immigrants if they do the following:

  • Commit crimes
  • Miss immigration hearing dates
  • Have an outstanding deportation order

The government might place immigrants in detention if they pose public safety threats or are flight risks. 

2. What do I do if a loved one is detained?

If you find out that someone you know has been detained, you might be able to find out where the person is located via the ICE website. You will need to know the person's name, date of birth, country of origin or Alien Number found on a work permit or green card. You could also contact an ICE field office near you. When crime is a factor, you may also need to contact a criminal defense attorney to help you with this process. 

3. What are the conditions in detention facilities?

Immigration detention centers have conditions similar to jails or prisons. In fact, sometimes detainees go to local incarceration facilities. While there are certain living standards the facilities must meet, sometimes this is not the case. Detained immigrants often face health hazards, hunger, exploitation or even physical abuse. 

Now that you know the answers to these questions, you can understand the immigration detention process more. If law enforcement has arrested you or an immigrant you know for a crime and threatened detention, you should get a criminal defense lawyer involved immediately for legal representation.

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