When law enforcement officials detain or incarcerate someone in Colorado or any other state, that person has a right to due process of law. That means that every person may exercise his or her legal rights and navigate afforded court processes to ensure full adjudication of a particular matter. If you're an immigrant, this includes you!
You may assume, as many other immigrants have in the past, that, especially if you are not a U.S. citizen, you have no legal rights in this country. That is simply not true. Even if you crossed a border without all your paperwork in order and you are currently undocumented, you still have rights by virtue of the fact that you are residing on U.S. soil.
The more you know, the stronger defense you can build
There are any number of reasons why you may wind up in an immigration detention center or a county jail. Perhaps, a Colorado police officer took you into custody on suspected drunk driving or some other criminal offense, or maybe Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers showed up at your house and took you into custody. Regarding detention and incarceration issues, the following facts may be helpful:
- If immigration officials have accused you of entering the U.S. without establishing a proper legal status and have listed you as eligible for immediate deportation, you have a right to appeal the decision.
- You may be able to present evidence and testimony in an immigration court to help you avoid removal.
- If you appeal an immigration decision and lose the appeal, you may be able to challenge the ruling in a federal court.
- If U.S. officials apprehended you within 100 miles of a border and within two weeks of your arrival, the government may be able to bypass due process rules.
- By seeking asylum, you may be able to avoid or, at least, delay the removal process.
U.S. immigration law is quite complex, and the system can be challenging to navigate. However, just as U.S. citizens may request legal representation, so can you reach out for similar support if officials threaten you with deportation or you're worried about some other legal matter regarding your immigration status at this time. You may have more options than you realize, and speaking to someone well versed in immigration law can help you determine a best course of action.