Immigration advocates have called for an end to a process they say is especially egregious toward certain groups of people living in the United States. Perhaps you're already familiar with mandatory immigrant detention, either because it was experienced by you yourself or one of your close family members. Mandatory detention has been legally occurring since 1988. Do you know that at least 70 percent of immigrants currently incarcerated are behind bars due to mandatory detention laws?
If you have a pending immigration case, you may be one of many immigrants in Colorado who are in jail without a long-term without bond. If you find the mandatory detention laws unfair and particularly harmful to the nation's immigrants, you are definitely not alone.
Who faces mandatorily detention?
U.S. immigration laws are quite complex and difficult to understand unless you have a strong background in legal studies. However, learning as much as you can about mandatory detention and other current immigration problems ahead of time may help you if a problem arises and you find yourself facing deportation or detention. Below are some of the basic facts regarding who can face jail time under these laws, and why:
- If you're a non-citizen and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers take you into custody, officials will decide whether to grant you a bond (so you can go about your daily life as usual during removal proceedings) or detain you.
- If you have a pending immigration case and are released from criminal custody, it is likely you will be detained until your removal proceedings are concluded because of mandatory detention laws.
- If you face charges with certain crimes, you may be subject to mandatory detention laws.
- Theft and/or possession of illegal drugs are two crimes that may render you inadmissible due to mandatory detention laws.
Some people say mandatory detention is merely a way to deal with court backlogs and does nothing more than shuffle immigrants through the system. You may even know someone who has lived in detainment without bond for years on end. You may also know there are sometimes ways to challenge the system in such circumstances. Although such situations can make a person feel overwhelmed and helpless, it's good to know there are support networks out there; all you have to do is seek them out.
Language barriers, inexperience and outright fear keep most people from wanting to go it alone in a courtroom. However, in Colorado and beyond, it is possible to request representation to increase the chances of obtaining positive results.