As part of what it describes as a “broader effort” to improve on its immigration enforcement process, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced on Dec. 29 new measures that would ensure that Caribbean and other nationals are properly notified about immigrants’ 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,” said ICE in a statement.
“The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center,” it added.
“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,” it continued.
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.
According to ICE, the notice informs these individuals that ICE has requested the LEA to 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.
“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,” the statement said.
An immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues to federal, state and local LEAs to inform them that the immigration agency intends to assume custody of an individual in the LEA’s custody and to request that the LEA notify the immigration agency 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,” the statement said.
“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,” it added.