The Law Office of Narciso Delgado-Cruz has successfully coordinated the release of noncitizens from criminal and immigration custody, often within a 24-hour period. We can help you obtain the secure release of someone with an ICE hold (immigration hold) and a criminal bond by providing a free case evaluation. Call (619) 717-2233 to speak to a lawyer. Available 24/7.

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  • What is an ICE hold (immigration hold)?
  • How can I find out if someone in jail has an ICE hold?
  • Can someone with an ICE hold post a criminal bond and bail out of jail?
  • Should I post a criminal bond for someone with an ICE hold?
  • What if ICE does not claim the person in custody within the 48-hour period?
  • What happens to someone with an ICE hold after they are rendered to ICE?
  • What are my rights when detained in immigration custody?

What is an ICE hold (immigration hold)?

An ICE hold (immigration hold) is a detainer placed by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) when a person they believe to be an illegal alien is in state jail or federal custody. This means that after the state (or federal) government no longer has a claim to the person in jail, that person is rendered to immigration custody.

San Diego County has an ICE agent in every jail in San Diego, including Downtown Central, Vista Detention facility, Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility, Chula Vista South Bay, and George Bailey in Otay Mesa. The ICE agent, and sometimes the sheriff acting on behalf of ICE, is responsible for determining whether the person in jail is an undocumented alien in the United States.

How can I find out if someone in jail has an ICE hold (immigration hold)?

In San Diego, and in most counties, the local Sheriff’s Department maintains a website with information about inmates in custody. A quick search of your local Sheriff’s Department website may reveal the person’s arrest date, pending criminal charge(s), and whether an immigration hold has been placed on the person. Sometime it is necessary to contact the jail directly and get this information. For a listing of jails in Southern California, see the compiled list below.

For arrests made in San Diego County:
http://www.sdsheriff.net/index.html
For arrests made in Riverside County:
http://jimspub.riversidesheriff.org/
For arrests made in Orange County:
http://ws.ocsd.org/Whoisinjail/

Important Note: Sometimes an ICE hold is not placed immediately on the person detained. An immigration hold may be placed on an arrested party at any time during their detention. Often, ICE holds (immigration holds) are put in place before the noncitizen has a chance to post a criminal bond, but an immigration hold may also appear during later phases of criminal detention.

Can someone with an ICE hold post a criminal bond and bail out of jail?

Yes, but it’s recommended you talk to a lawyer with experience in criminal and immigration law before posting the bond.

Inmates with an ICE hold (immigration hold) do not have to remain in custody until their criminal case is settled with a plea bargain or by jury trial. Noncitizens with an ICE hold may elect to post the criminal bond and bail out of jail.

After posting bond, the person detained will be released to ICE custody. ICE has 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to claim the person from jail.

Before committing to a criminal bond, it’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer familiar with criminal and immigration law who can determine whether the person eligible for criminal bond should have that criminal bond posted.

Should I post a criminal bond for someone with an ICE hold (immigration hold)?

It depends. Having an immigration hold places noncitizens at a major disadvantage and adversely affects the fairness of the entire criminal justice system. The pressure of being detained and away from family members through the pendency of a criminal case often leads many noncitizens to plea out to criminal charges when a good chance to defend and fight those charges exists.

However, if a criminal bond is posted, the person in criminal custody will be released from state jail and rendered to immigration custody. While in immigration custody, they may or may not be eligible for immigration relief, and they may or may not be inadvertently deported or returned to their country of origin.

This may occur if the person has a prior deportation(s) or does not know their rights as an undocumented immigrant in the United States and signs for voluntary return. This will result in the financial loss of the bail amount posted.

The person being turned over to ICE custody can also be rendered to an immigration detention center because they are deemed a flight risk or a threat to their community, or have prior criminal convictions. If the detained alien is moved to immigration custody prior to resolution of their criminal case, the immigration authorities may or may not return the detained alien to criminal court for scheduled criminal court appearances. Thus, the noncitizen might be absent for his criminal court hearings and may have a state warrant issued for his or her arrest.

Furthermore, the time spent in detention at an immigration facility will not count as credit for time served if and when the noncitizen is convicted and sentenced by the criminal court.

It is important to be informed about the detained noncitizen’s immigration history and eligibility for relief in immigration court before deciding to post a criminal bond.

If you are considering posting a criminal bond for someone with an ICE hold (immigration hold), it’s important to contact an informed attorney with experience in both criminal law and immigration law.

The Cruz Law Office, APC has successfully coordinated the release of noncitizens from criminal and immigration custody within 24 hours. We can help you determine if a criminal bond should be posted for someone with an ICE hold (immigration hold) by providing a FREE case evaluation. Call 24/7 at (619) 717-2233 to speak to a lawyer.

What if ICE does not claim the person in custody within the 48-hour period?

After posting a criminal bond or after the state or federal government no longer has a claim against the noncitizen detained in criminal custody, the noncitizen will be released to ICE custody. ICE has 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to claim the person from jail.

If the 48 hours pass and ICE has not picked up the inmate, you may consider hiring an attorney to get the inmate out.

An attorney can address the issue with the sheriff’s legal counsel. If that doesn’t work, your attorney will need to file a petition (Writ of Habeas Corpus) against the jailer in the court of the county where the jail is located. The Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 287.7, states that a jail may only hold a person for up to 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, after the person is released from custody. Jails can find themselves being sued if they don’t follow this law.

What happens to someone with an ICE hold (immigration hold) after they are rendered to immigration?

Shortly after a criminal bond is posted or after the state or local government has no further claim to the person in criminal custody, the noncitizen will be moved to an immigration detention center, a local jail, or a military base. Often the transfer occurs in the middle of the night, so it’s important that the person keep a copy of all legal documents at all times.

Noncitizens are placed in a temporary processing station where they are fingerprinted and interviewed. After being processed, the detained alien will be assigned a deportation officer.

What are my rights when detained in immigration custody?

  • DO NOT LIE to an immigration officer! Lying to an immigration officer and lying about your status carries serious punishment.
  • You have a right NOT to sign any statements or documents. This right is very important since a detained immigrant can be signing away his or her right to a hearing in front of an immigration judge. If necessary, ask to speak to a lawyer first.
  • Do NOT volunteer information about your immigration status. Anything you say will be used against you later on.

If someone you know finds themselves in immigration custody, they should seek the assistance of an immigration attorney familiar with these issues as soon as possible. Acting quickly in these cases often can make a huge difference.

The Cruz law Office, APC has represented many noncitizens in deportation/removal proceedings. For a free case evaluation call (619) 717-2233.