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Can ICE hold immigrants in detention indefinitely?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Immigration And Naturalization

New Jersey is host to many immigrant cultures, and not all those people are in the country legally. Congress is still hammering out bills to deal with immigration laws, but the problem is not close to a resolution. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can request local law enforcement to hold suspected immigrant violators for 48 hours and, in some cases, even longer.

ICE detention centers hold upwards of 34,000 immigrants. Many people find the experience upsetting and it can even be dangerous. Immigration law is a lengthy, complex process that leaves those seeking refuge in the U.S. subjected to overcrowding, insufficient bed space, and lacking supplies.

Some immigrants can remain in detention for months or years, waiting for a court date

Immigrants in the U.S. legally also face detention, especially if they’ve been arrested by law enforcement. It can take up to a year or longer to get a court date. Immigration law barely differentiates between those immigrants who are here lawfully opposed to those who are here unlawfully.

The courts are filled with thousands of cases of people seeking asylum, visa renewals, and to be recognized as having the legal right to remain in the U.S.

Non-violent immigration law can result in shorter detention

Non-violent immigration law dealing with crimes such as DUI or other misdemeanor offenses might be processed faster but can end in deportation. Many immigrants would rather suffer the treatment in the detention centers rather than be returned to their home country. Workers or students with valid visas can be detained by ICE if they are alleged to have committed a crime.

The crime doesn’t have to be proven or severe to be held in ICE detention. Immigrants who are lawful and compliant should know that even minor offenses can result in detainment.