For several years now, the use of detainers against undocumented immigrants by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in South Florida and beyond has been controversial. Essentially, these hold requests are made by the federal government to keep undocumented individuals in detention after being arrested.
Though the detainers are supposed to be for a period of 48 hours, it is apparently possible that in some cases individuals remained in custody beyond that two day period even after posting bail. The federal government might seek such a hold to provide more time for an immigration agency to take custody. These detained individuals may ultimately end up being deported. Individuals detained may have been arrested for matters as minor as a driving without a license.
Over the course of the past few years, such requests were apparently granted by Miami-Dade County with little to no consideration. Recently however, the Miami-Dade County attorney weighed in on the matter. More specifically, it determined that a detainer is a request, rather than an order. Accordingly, while some individuals may be held at the request of the federal government, in many cases they will likely be allowed to go and may be able to avoid deportation.
Miami-Dade is of course not the only area in the country dealing with this issue. The treatment of these detainers varies throughout the nation. Many are hoping that this recent move will prompt other areas to follow suit.
Deportation is a scary proposition for most undocumented immigrants. Accordingly, anyone who is potentially facing it would likely benefit from working with an immigration lawyer.
Source: The Miami Herald, “County attorney: Feds can’t require longer immigrant detentions,” Alfonso Chardy, July 29, 2013