When U.S. immigration officers arrest someone, the hours, days and weeks that follow can be some of the most confusing, frightening but important times of their lives. The decisions that someone makes during this time can possibly mean the difference between staying in the U.S. with your loved ones or being deported and possibly never seeing them again.
When immigration officers encounter someone who they believe is in the U.S. in violation of the immigration laws, one of the first decisions they make is whether or not to detain the person in an immigration detention facility. If immigration officers decide not to detain the person, then this fortunate non-citizen is given an order of recognizance, or an Oreck (O-Reck) as the officers call it. When someone is on an ORec, they have to report periodically to immigration officers while their case is pending in immigration court.
If the immigration officers decide to detain someone, they first determine if the person is eligible for an immigration bond, and if so, they will decide how much the bond will be. An immigration bond can range anywhere from $1500 to $25,000 or more. If an immigration officer determines that you are not eligible for a bond, then you will be held in immigration detention until your cases is over, an immigration officer decides to release you or an immigration judge gives you a bond.
One of the first things someone in immigration detention does is to contact friends and family members to ask them for help. Naturally, the first desire of a detainee is to try to get out of custody. However, consulting with and hiring an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible is probably the best thing a detainee and their family can do to help.
Many immigration attorneys will offer free consultations to detainees and their families to determine what can be done to help them. An immigration attorney can help a detainee determine if they already have a bond. If the detainee has no bond or a high bond, an immigration attorney can file a motion with the immigration court to either lower a high bond, or to give the detainee a bond. The money paid to an immigration attorney at this early stage can not only save the detainee and their family money in the long term, but can also go a long way to helping the detainee stay in the U.S. with their loved ones. It is usually much easier for a person to fight their immigration case if they are not detained, especially with the assistance of an attorney.
In addition to attempting to secure a bond for a detainee, an attorney can review the evidence the government is using against the person, and possibly try to terminate the case and have the detainee released. If the detainee is eligible for relief from removal, an attorney can help the detainee and family file the correct applications and gather the necessary evidence to win the case.
The experienced immigration attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon can help you with your immigration case, whether you are detained or not. We can help you seek a bond or lower your bond if you are detained, protect your rights in immigration court and help you seek relief from removal to help you stay in the U.S.