Kurczaba & Associates, Immigration Attorneys, Chicago Immigration Law | FAQs
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  • Given the President’s Executive Orders and recent memos from Homeland Security, all undocumented persons are subject to arrest and deportation by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Anyone undocumented can be arrested. The new rules underscore that anyone can be arrested and held for deportation, even if they do not have criminal violations. The new rules are especially troubling in that they instruct local police officials to execute immigration laws.

  • If you have begun any process to legalize your status, you should carry proof of the application being filed. If you have not begun any process to legalize your status, you should do so immediately. Persons who are in the USA legally or not, can apply for permanent residency through any employer or potential employer OR through their family. It is critical that you can show that you have an application in process. Furthermore, you should carry proof that you have been in the USA for greater than 2 years.
  • Undocumented immigrants have certain rights. Generally, if you are in the US for longer than 2 years, you have the right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge. Generally, the hearing process takes several years to complete.      

    Keep in mind that if an immigration officer comes to your home, you do not have to let the officer in unless he or she has a warrant. Because of their enforcement priorities and limited resources, ICE officers are more likely to look for you in your home if you have been convicted of a crime. If you are within a hundred miles of the border, be aware that officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Border Patrol”) will be checking for documents. 

    After you are arrested, the police (except in Chicago and Sanctuary Cities) may decide to contact ICE if they believe that you are an undocumented immigrant, or ICE may contact the police if they want to interview you regarding your immigration status. This most often happens when jails input detainee information into databases shared with ICE. In such cases, ICE will file what's called a "detainer." This means that ICE cannot get to you immediately, but is asking the police or jail to hold you for an additional amount of time so that ICE can interview you at a later time to determine whether or not to place you into removal (deportation) proceedings. 

    Under the law, the maximum amount of additional time that you can be held on ICE's behalf is 48 hours. If ICE does not take custody of you within those 48 hours, the law says you must be released. ICE does not always put everyone they arrest into custody. Sometimes they let people, especially parents with young children, go home.  

    Once an undocumented immigrant is arrested, the ICE deportation officer will make an initial determination as to whether to place the person into removal proceedings.  Removal proceedings can take a long time - several years to complete. 

    As long as you do not have a prior order of removal, nor sign agreement to your deportation or accept voluntary departure, you will not be immediately deported. 

    If you are in immigration custody, one the deportation officer will determine whether or not to allow you pay a bond . A bond will release you from custody and return to your home in the U.S. while removal proceedings are pending.  In setting a bond, the officer will consider two things: · the risk that you will miss your immigration hearings, and the danger to the community if you are released. 

    A conviction for certain types of crimes can make you ineligible for a bond. 

    If the deportation officer refuses to grant you a bond, you have the right to ask an immigration judge to reconsider this decision. Additionally, if the deportation officer grants you a bond but it is too high, you can ask an immigration judge to lower the bond.