Immigration issues and ICE custody

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is a primary focus of ICE to maintain U.S. border security. Several immigration issues may arise that compel an ICE agent to take you or your loved one into custody if you have emigrated from another country of origin to Louisiana or elsewhere in the United States.

If ICE officers take you into custody, it is always best to try to remain calm and to cooperate with immigration officials. Like anyone else residing in this country, you have a right to seek legal counsel as you navigate the detention management system. Being in detention does not necessarily mean you will face removal. If you are not subject to mandatory detention and are not a flight or public safety risk, officials may decide to release you as you await due process of your case.

ICE detention facilities must adhere to stringent protocol and regulations

Being in ICE custody, especially if you’re separated from your family, can be stressful and frightening. Detention facilities must always comply with federal regulations and protocol that govern immigration detention. Immigration officials must provide a safe environment, as well as food and access to medical care as needed.

ICE officials make determinations on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, if you are a custodial parent of a minor or have a serious health condition, they may decide to release you under certain conditions.

Immigration detention is non-punitive

The term “punitive” refers to an intent to inflict punishment. When ICE officials take you into custody, the detention is non-punitive. This means that you are not legally receiving punishment. If you were to be accused of a crime, criminal charges would be filed against you, and your case would be processed through the U.S. criminal justice system, which is entirely separate from ICE facilities.

Addressing immigration issues regarding an ICE detention

There are numerous reasons that might compel you to reach out for support while held in an ICE detention facility. If concerns have arisen due to inadequate health care, dirty living conditions, unfair treatment or abuse, you may seek assistance to resolve the matter through the legal system.

In most cases, the purpose of immigration detention is to secure the presence of a noncitizen for removal or for asylum or other immigration proceedings. If you’re taken into ICE custody in Louisiana, you must receive an opportunity to contact your family and to request a meeting with legal counsel.