U.S. Law Center

What can an immigrant be detained for?

The detainment of undocumented immigrants has been a topic of debate in Riverside, California, for a while. Many activist groups in the area directly clash with immigration law officials, believing that undocumented immigrants should be sent back to their own country. Others argue that detaining immigrants breaks up families and prevents people from caring for their spouses and children. The debate has only grown more heated in recent years as the number of immigrants has continued to rise.

Many immigrants fear detainment due to the fact that it can lead to deportation. According to The Washington Post, of the Central American immigrants detained this fiscal year, 82,000 of them ended up being deported.

When it comes to detainment, there are many reasons that an undocumented immigrant may be detained. These reasons can include the following:

  • Being found at the border without a refugee or asylum application
  • Committing major or minor crimes, or multiple crimes
  • Missing court dates for other immigration related issues
  • Not following a previous deportation order

Up until recently, immigrants could also be detained if they were arrested for minor crimes, which was another major topic of debate among activist groups.

However, according to the Los Angeles Times, the police department intends to stop its cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. They intend to refuse honoring detention requests that would hold an immigrant past their date of release, thus preventing these immigrants from being unfairly detained.

This may be a positive boost in immigration communities. Not only could it foster trust in the local police, but it may also help keep immigrant families together and lower the number of detentions.

Of course, anyone who is detained or has a loved one detained by immigration officials would benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced immigration lawyer.

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