By Alex Pappas
The Obama administration has set up a toll-free hotline to help illegal immigrants detained by law enforcement at the state and local levels.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced Thursday that the hotline is being launched to make sure detainees understand “their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.”
Those arrested under immigration laws can also use the government hotline if they think they are actually an American citizen or victim of a crime. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The agency said the forms, which require basic information on detainees, “help ensure that individuals who are convicted of criminal charges or have previously been removed are not released back into the community to potentially commit more crimes.”
ICE establishes hotline for detained individuals, issues new detainer form
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent this bulletin at 12/29/2011 12:47 PM EST
WASHINGTON — As part of a broader effort to improve our immigration enforcement process and prioritize resources to focus on threats to public safety, repeat immigration law violators, recent border entrants, and immigration fugitives while continuing to strengthen oversight of the nation’s immigration detention system and facilitate legal immigration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced new measures to ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.
The new measures include a new detainer form and the launch of a toll-free hotline — (855) 448-6903 — that detained individuals can call if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages from 7 a.m. until midnight (Eastern) seven days a week. ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.
The new form also includes:
• A request that the law enforcement agency (LEA) provide the subject of the detainer a copy of the detainer form and includes a notice advising the subject that ICE intends to assume custody. The notice informs these individuals that ICE has requested the LEA maintain custody beyond the time when they would have otherwise been released by the state or local law enforcement authorities based on their criminal charges or convictions. The notice also includes Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese and Vietnamese translations.
• Further emphasis that LEAs may only hold an individual for a period not to exceed 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). It also advises individuals that if ICE does not take them into custody within the 48 hours, they should contact the LEA or entity that is holding them to inquire about their release from state or local custody.
• Directions for individuals who may have a civil rights or civil liberties complaint regarding ICE activities.
• The new form allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.
• The new form makes clear that the existence of a detainer should not impact or prejudice the individual’s conditions of detention, including matters related to the individual’s custody classification, work or quarter assignments.
An immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local LEAs to inform them that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual in the LEA’s custody and to request that the LEA notify ICE as soon as possible prior to the time when LEA would otherwise release the individual.
Detainers help ensure that individuals who are convicted of criminal charges or have previously been removed are not released back into the community to potentially commit more crimes. Detainers are critical tools in assisting ICE’s identification and removal of criminal aliens, immigration fugitives, illegal re-entrants, recent border crossers and others who have no legal right to remain in the United States.
(courtesy of: http://arizonateaparty.ning.com )