According to a recent report, many local law-enforcement agencies in South Carolina and elsewhere, are refusing to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An individual who is detained by request of the ICE may face deportation.
According to one field supervisory agent for the ICE, law enforcement officials are releasing individuals who have allegedly committed offenses such as being involved in gang-related activities, drug trafficking, firearms-related offenses and murder. In addition, the agent stated that 75 percent of these individuals are convicted felons who will likely reoffend.
Two states, California and Colorado have passed statutes that prohibit cooperation with the ICE by local agencies. In addition, multiple courts have ruled that, because these holds do not meet constitutional standards for probable cause, local agencies are not required to comply with detainer requests.
It is clear that a defendant who is allegedly an undocumented immigrant and has been charged with a criminal offense will face a complicated legal process that may result in either deportation or a prison sentence. A lawyer with a background in immigration cases may be able to answer questions regarding immigration status, obtaining a green card or other immigration-related concerns.
An immigration lawyer may work on behalf of a defendant who is being detained and may be facing deportation. Depending on other factors, such as pending criminal charges, there may be several defense options available. The lawyer may also be able to provide advice to individuals who are facing removal for other issues, such as overstaying a visa, allegations of falsifying immigration forms or assertions that the person may have entered the country illegally.
Source: FOX News, "Local jails refusing to hold illegal immigrant offenders, forcing feds to track them down", William La Jeunesse and Laura Prabucki, October 17, 2014