What to Do if You Are Held in ICE Detention

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) upholds federal immigration laws and will detain a foreign national believed to be a “flight risk.” Generally, if ICE takes you into custody, you may be held in a detention facility until you are required to appear in Immigration Court. Although you were arrested and detained, you still have rights under the U.S. Constitution, and it is important to understand and express those rights.

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent, and if you wish to invoke that right, you must say so aloud. Anything you say during the detention process can be used against you in your immigration case. Also, you do not have to sign the documents officials provide. In some cases, signing certain forms can result in being denied a hearing in front of a judge.

Consulting with a Lawyer

If an ICE agent detains you, you have the right to speak with a lawyer before making statements or signing documents. Discuss immigration matters only with your attorney.


Before you are taken to a detention facility, you will be fingerprinted and interviewed. Again, beyond providing your name, you do not have to answer questions without first consulting your lawyer. During processing, you will also be assigned to a deportation officer. It is crucial to record the deportation officer’s information so you and/or your family are able to contact them.

You may also receive a Notice to Appear (NTA), which lists the reason for your detention. If you do not receive an NTA within 3 days of your arrest, request one from your deportation officer. The information on the NTA will help your lawyer understand your charges so they can begin building a case for you.

If you do not already have an alien registration number (“A” number), one will be assigned to you when you are being processed. If this information is not automatically given to you, request one from your deportation officer. Your family will need your A number to locate you at a detention facility.

Transferring to an Immigration Detention Center

After processing, you will be transferred to an immigration detention center or jail. Keep your legal paperwork with you while you are being moved from one location to another. If you are unable to maintain possession of your documents, you have the right to request them at any time while you are detained. Unfortunately, these requests are routinely denied, so, if possible, have your family make copies they can keep.

Requesting Bond

If you are detained, you can seek release from the facility by requesting bond. Bond is a payment you make to guarantee you will return for your immigration hearing. You can ask your deportation officer about bond and scheduling a bond hearing.

Speak with Simon Law Group, PLLC Regarding Your Case

If you or a loved one is being held at an ICE detention center, contact our dedicated team. We have extensive experience providing personalized deportation defense, and we are ready to help with your case. Our lawyers are well-versed in the legal processes and procedures used by ICE, and we will fight to ensure your rights are upheld.

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