An ICE hold is a formal request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a state or local jail to hold a person for 48 hours from the time of their release so that ICE can pick up them up. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, ICE holds are common at numerous local jails, including Lew Sterrett, Mansfield, Collin County, and Tarrant County.
The 48-hour clock starts after the arrestee posts a criminal bond or completes his criminal case, whichever is first.
The first step is to contact an immigration attorney who is willing to engage with a criminal defense attorney.
In our law firm, we analyze ICE hold situations carefully and examine a number of options. We don’t follow black-and-white rules, because the best advice will depend on the facts of each case.
For example, sometimes it’s best for a person to finish his or her criminal case before going into ICE custody. Why? Because if a successful outcome can be reached in criminal court, it can improve the defendant’s odds of getting released on an immigration bond later on. Other times it’s appropriate to post a criminal bond as soon as possible, especially when a serious criminal conviction is imminent. Some criminal convictions will entirely preclude a person from getting an immigration bond.
No matter the scenario, our law firm prides itself on working closely with criminal defense attorneys located all over the metroplex to get the best outcome for our clients. Mr. Patel is actively involved in helping criminal attorneys to craft plea agreements and negotiate plea offers. When a person has an ICE hold, timing is everything. We’re with our clients every step of the way.
He or she has an ICE hold because immigration authorities suspect that the person is removable from the United States. Note, this doesn’t mean that the person is automatically removable. It just means that immigration has some reason to believe this is the case.
If you post bond at the county jail, and the person is subject to an ICE hold, then most likely ICE will pick up the person within 48 hours and transfer him or her to the Dallas Field Office located at 8101 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas.
At many densely-populated jails, like Lew Sterrett (Dallas County), and Tarrant County, ICE will virtually always pick up the person within 48 hours.
In less-populated counties, it can take longer, and very occasionally doesn’t happen at all.
But be warned: do not post a criminal bond before consulting with an immigration attorney experienced in removal defense. There are various reasons why a criminal defendant facing deportation may not wish to post bond right way, or at all.
No. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It means essentially that an immigrant has been red-flagged, and that ICE seeks to transfer the individual to the ICE Field Office for additional processing.
Yes, but not always. Mistakenly, some county and district criminal judges will deny bonds to persons with ICE holds. However, in our experience, we have been able to work with criminal defense attorneys in these situations to secure defendants’ release on bond.
Again, just because you can post bond for a person to be released from county jail does not mean you should. It’s critical to seek advice from an immigration attorney before doing so.
If 48 hours have passed, then you’re entitled to seek something called “habeas relief” from a state court judge. In our experience, this is sometimes worth it and sometimes not. In one case for example, a defense attorney sought habeas relief for a client detained for longer than 48 hours and won, but ICE picked up the inmate from his home the very next day.
During the Obama Administration, it was much easier to persuade ICE to lift an ICE hold. We did so for countless individuals detained in Lew Sterrett, Tarrant County Jail, and Collin County Jail, among others. We were able to demonstrate that these defendants were not immigration enforcement priorities. Fortunately, they were never transferred to ICE.
Since President Trump was elected, it has become far more difficult to secure the release of an ICE hold. Our law firm will still try to secure the release of ICE holds in limited circumstances; we do not wish, however, to unnecessarily waste clients’ money on strategies that won’t work.
But even if we cannot secure a person’s release on an ICE hold, we stand ready to fight in every other way possible to help your family member, whether that means negotiating for an immigration bond with deportation officers, representing your loved one at a bond hearing before the Dallas Immigration Court, and stopping deportation.