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DHS announces new protections for detained immigrants

Facing deportation or removal can be extremely scary, especially if you are going through the process alone. That is why it is important to have an experienced immigration attorney on your side from the very beginning.

Many times when suspected illegal immigrants are detained by local law enforcement agencies, they are provided little information about whether or not they face deportation or how long they will be held in custody.

After the ACLU and advocates for immigrants' rights protested the questionable treatment of suspected illegal immigrant detainees, the Obama administration made some changes appearing to afford the detainees more rights.

First, the Department of Homeland Security announced that a new "detainer" form had been adopted that explains a law enforcement agency's authority to hold a person in custody for a period of time.

A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that the new forms would include a variety of translations as well.

Earlier this month, the DHS also announced that it would no longer allow deputies from an Arizona sheriff's office to use a federal database to check the immigration status of local jail inmates after racial profiling against Latinos was suspected.

Finally, at the end of the year, ICE launched a new hot line for people who have been detained but believe they are victims of crime or may be citizens of the United States.

The hot line is toll free and will be staffed 24 hours a day. ICE representatives will be able to answer questions from suspected illegal immigrants held in local jails about whether they could face deportation.

The number to the new hotline is: 855-448-6903. Of course, another important phone call to make is to an experienced immigration attorney, who can provide valuable advice during this difficult process.

Source: Fox News Latino, "ICE Sets Up Immigration Hotline for Imprisoned Immigrants," Dec. 30, 2011

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