U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has launched a toll-free telephone hotline for detainees who are believed to be “U.S. citizens or victims of crime.”
According to an ICE press release from December 29, 2011, this measure is to “ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.”
The toll-free hotline number is (855) 448-6903. Those immigration detainees who believe they are U.S. citizen (either by derivation from parents or acquired citizenship at birth) or victims of crime(s), can call the toll-free number to speak with an ICE personnel. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. 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.
ICE has also issued a new detainer form to ensure that detainees are not held longer than 48 hours while awaiting their immigration fate. An immigration detainer is a notice that Department of Homeland Security issues to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to inform them that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual in that agency’s custody and to request that the agency notify ICE as soon as possible prior to the time when agency would otherwise release the individual.
This new ICE initiative comes as a result of recent unlawful deportations of United States citizens. Some of these individuals, including a 15-year-old girl from Texas, were arrested and detained under the Secured Communities Program, which sought to locate, detain, and deport undocumented immigrants.
Source: ICE, NY Times, MSNBC, Huffington Post Online
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