One fear of people who are in the United States without proper documentation is being arrested. There is a possibility that an arrest can trigger deportation in some cases. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses the Secure Communities program to find inmates who are eligible for deportation. Not all jails participate in this program, so there is a chance that being arrested might not do anything at all to a person who doesn’t have documentation.
When a person is incarcerated, a participating jail will provide the fingerprints to immigration and criminal databases. This lets ICE know when people are being held who have violated immigration laws. This can trigger a detainer that would hold the person until ICE is able to get them or until the detainer expires.
There are many things that are being questioned about this program. For one, some note that there is confusing information about how agencies can opt out of it. Another issue is that some are concerned that ICE isn’t using the program in the manner in which they are indicating to the public. There is also a question about whether the program has proper complaint options when there are concerns about what’s going on with cases, such as if a person believes they have been incorrectly identified as having an immigration issue.
For immigrants who are being detained, trying to find out what is going on and battling against it can be challenging. You should know your rights and determine what options you have to address the concerns being brought to you. Proper legal representation might be beneficial.