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ICE officers took you into custody: How will you get out?

Most Colorado immigrants would agree that life in the United States is not without its challenges. No matter where you emigrated from, if you arrived in the U.S. before you were able to speak fluent English, the language barrier may have caused you confusion and stress as you attempted to interact with your new neighbors, an employer, co-workers or others. Day by day, week by week, you undoubtedly overcame and rose above each challenge that surfaced as you adapted to your new lifestyle.

Nothing can be more stressful, however, than facing arrest from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Many immigrants have told stories about ICE agents handcuffing them and leading them away as spouses, children or other family members tearfully look on with shock and dismay. Once immigration officials place you in detention, there are numerous issues that might prompt your release from custody.

What issues initiate release from ICE custody?

Living in a U.S. immigration detention center is definitely not what you had in mind when you decided to come to Colorado to live. Sadly, many immigrants have told horror stories regarding alleged inhumane conditions and unfair treatment in such places. Still, you may have no idea how long your detainment will be; however, people often leave ICE custody for the following reasons:

  • While it is likely not the outcome you're hoping for, thousands of people leave detention because the U.S. government deports them.
  • In addition to forced removal, some immigrants leave detention through voluntary deportation. If that's the case, the government does not prohibit them from re-entry.
  • If immigration officials can't prove grounds for your removal, they will have to let you go free.
  • The government might allow you to leave ICE custody while you're waiting for a full process of your case.
  • If officials decide you should remain in the United States, you may exit the detention center.
  • In some situations, you might be free to live outside of detention but made to wear an electronic tracking device.
  • If officials deem it necessary to transfer you over to a U.S. Marshal or other government authority, they will release you from detention.

Perhaps you change your mind and no longer wish to request entry to the United States; this would also be grounds to release you from ICE custody, but you would have to leave the country. Spending even several days in detention, without seeing, or perhaps, even talking to your loved ones, can be quite a harrowing experience.

Support is available

If, at any time, you want to speak to someone who is well-versed in U.S. immigration law, you may correspond with an experienced legal advocate, by phone or email. You may even be able to request a meeting in person. Remembering that facing an ICE arrest doesn't necessarily mean you'll face deportation, and also that you have rights, are critical issues that can help you obtain a positive outcome.

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