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Work with experienced immigration attorney when facing potential deportation

With Texas' sanctuary city law having been signed into law by Governor Greg Abbot, Texas now stands in solidarity with the Trump Administration with regard to public policy regarding sanctuary cities. As we've previously noted on this blog, there are not currently any jurisdictions in the state of Texas officially classified as sanctuary jurisdictions. Still, it is not an uncommon occurrence for local law enforcement to ignore ICE detainer requests, even when there is no official policy that they do so.

ICE detainers are an important tool for immigration officials in deporting undocumented workers. A detainer is a written request that a local jail or law enforcement agency hold an individual for 48 hours after the release date. This gives the agency time to begin the deportation process, if so desired.

If ICE takes no action on a detainer request within the additional 48 hours for which detention is requested, the request lapses. If law enforcement keeps an individual detained longer, it may be necessary to file habeas corpus to obtain release. Those who have been unlawfully detained may, in some cases, be entitled to civil damages.

If Ice does obtain custody of a detained individual and is able to begin deportation proceedings, then it is important to understand one's rights in the process. Deportation cases are heard by an Immigration Court, and a removal order is issued if a judge rules deportation is proper. Having an advocate in these hearings is important to ensure the court has all the information necessary to make a fair determination and that the rules of the process are followed.

One important protection available to qualifying immigrants is DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Immigrants who qualify under the requirements of this policy are able to avoid deportation. Immigrants are also able to appeal some deportation rulings, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to navigate the appeals process. In addition, the guidance and advocacy of an experienced attorney is valuable in applying for readmission to the United States after deportation.


NPR, "DHS Publishes List Of Jurisdictions That Rejected Immigrant Detainer Requests," Richard Gonzales, March 20, 2017.

USA.gov, Deportation, Accessed May 11, 2017. 

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