Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been significantly more active over the past year and has had a major impact on legal and undocumented immigrants in the Miami-Dade area. According to figures compiled by the Miami Herald, 436 people have been remanded to ICE custody by the Miami-Dade jail system. This amounts to more than a person a day who has been transferred by local jails to ICE detention in our area.
Many of the immigrants who were transferred to ICE were processed under the agency’s detainer policy. Detainer requests may also be referred to as immigration holds and are intended to extend the time allowable to hold inmates who would otherwise be eligible for release by 48 hours. During this time, ICE agents typically arrive to take custody of the immigrant. In many cases, these individuals are not allowed contact with their Miami immigration lawyers or any legal recourse against these actions.
No Prior Convictions Required for Detention
Prior to 2017, ICE generally did not process detainer requests for immigrants with no previous criminal record. New protocols instituted by the agency, however, have led to the transfer and detention of first offenders with no previous convictions for misdemeanors or felonies on their records.
No Longer a Sanctuary City
Miami’s longstanding status as a sanctuary city that welcomed immigrants has effectively ended with the new policies instituted by Miami-Dade jails. These changes were prompted by President Donald Trump’s statement that he would reduce funding for sanctuary cities, which led to a directive by Mayor Carlos Gimenez that the jail system must comply with the federal regulations set forth by ICE. This marked a reversal in county policy instituted in 2013 that allowed jails to disregard detainer requests for inmates with no previous convictions.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union and other watchdog organizations, the practice of detaining immigrants without access to legal counsel and without due process constitutes unlawful imprisonment. In some cases, undocumented immigrants have been removed from the country without the chance to consult with a Miami deportation attorney at all.
At Pozo Goldstein, our Miami immigration attorneys can provide you with the best and most aggressive representation to protect your right to remain in the U.S. Our staff includes a former judge and two former immigration prosecutors who are willing to fight for your legal rights. Call our offices today at 305-856-0400 to schedule a free consultation with our team. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.