After an ICE Raid: Understanding the Deportation Process

Census data collected by the Pew Research Center concluded that 10.5 million undocumented immigrants were living in the United States in 2017. This adds up to 3.2% of the entire country’s population.

About a quarter of all the immigrants living in the United States (23%) are living here without documents. The majority of immigrants (77%) are here legally. However, there are still millions of people who live their lives in constant fear of deportation.

For those 10.5 million undocumented immigrants, there’s a very real possibility of getting detained by ICE. Having to go through an often lengthy and confusing deportation process is a scary reality many might have to face. 

Keep reading to learn about what happens after an ICE arrest and what every step in a deportation proceeding will look like. It’s important to stay informed and prepared in case you’re ever faced with this harsh reality.

What Kind of People Do ICE Agents Target?

Deportation in America usually involves ICE agents arriving at a person’s home or workplace. They’ll often target people from many different countries. The most recent raids have targeted communities of people arriving from Central America, however. 

During the last couple of years, there have been large numbers of families traveling in a caravan with other families coming to the U.S./Mexico border seeking asylum. Those applying for asylum within the country know the difficulties of winning their cases. ICE arrests occur when eligibility for asylum gets denied and a judge grants a deportation order for immediate removal from the country. 

What Does an ICE Arrest Actually Look Like?

Before we delve deeper into the details of an ICE deportation process, you’d probably like to know about the actual arrests ICE agents make. We’ll explain everything you should expect if you’re ever in the unfortunate circumstance of getting confronted by ICE. 

While arrests can occur anywhere, they are more often than not conducted outside an individual’s home. The reason ICE makes these types of arrests is because they aren’t legally allowed to arrest someone who hasn’t stepped outside of their own house. They’ll usually wait for someone before they leave for work and catch them as they’re on their way out. 

ICE agents use many different methods to make the arrests they’re tasked with. They might approach the individual they’re seeking to arrest with the false pretense that they’re looking for someone else and get them to come out of their home. They might also stake out an individual’s home for a couple of days in order to know what time is best to make a successful arrest. 

It’s important to know that, despite being undocumented, if you’re arrested by ICE, you have the same legal rights to remain silent and aren’t required to consent to any searches of your person or your home. You’ll still get arrested but aren’t required to answer any questions at the time of the arrest. 

After an Arrest Comes Booking at a Detention Center

After an arrest, an individual gets taken to an ICE detention center. While it’s likely that you’ll be taken to the closest detention center, ICE has the right to transport you to any detention center they’d like to within the United States. Once you arrive at the detention center the paperwork process might take a couple of hours and ICE will also need to find space for you at the facility as these places tend to get filled to capacity. 

During processing, you have the right to speak with an immigration lawyer through video chat. They can file a motion that will halt your immediate deportation until you get a hearing in front of a judge but this process can take a couple of months. You also have the option to leave the country voluntarily and the process will proceed immediately after arrest. 

The Possibility of Getting out of Detention on Bond

When arrested, an undocumented person might be eligible for a bond. If you are and that bond gets paid, you can stay with friends and family in the U.S. until the day of your hearing. 

There are a couple of different bonds that will get an undocumented person out of an ICE detention facility. This bail for immigration differs depending on the decision an individual makes in regard to their case. 

Delivery bonds can range from $1,500 to $10,000 and are for those who want to remain in the U.S. while their case is being decided. Departure bonds are for those who decide to voluntarily leave the country and are only about $500. With this bond, individuals have between 60 to 120 days to get everything in order and leave the country.  

For those who aren’t eligible for bond, there are a couple of different reasons why that might be. If ICE believes a person will flee after getting out on bond, they might not receive it. People with criminal records are considered a threat to the community and might also be denied. 

You always have the right to appeal to a judge if you’re denied bail and can also ask for the cost of the bail to be lowered as well. 

The Actual Deportation From the Country

The next step in a U.S. deportation process is the actual physical deportation from the country. Once a hearing occurs and a decision’s made, this process begins. 

The amount of time depends on where you live in the United States and what country you’re sent back to. The paperwork for this process can take a couple of months as well. 

ICE sends thousands of individuals out of the U.S. on their own flights. On occasion ICE also sends undocumented people on commercial flights but because they’re still under ICE custody, they must remain handcuffed on the plane. 

Everything You Need to Know About the Deportation Process

The deportation process can be a lot to handle but the information listed above can help guide you through it.

Do you want some other helpful information? Make sure to check out some of our other blogs as well.