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What should I know about criminal charges and immigration?

For anyone in America, facing charges in the criminal justice system is an often frightening experience. For people who are immigrants, the fear is often increased. This is because the consequences can often be severe for immigrants. There are some ways that our Texas neighbors can help to ensure they remain protected as they go through the criminal justice system as an immigrant.

Will I be deported if I'm convicted of a crime?

You might be eligible for deportation if you are convicted of a crime. One important consideration is if you are in the country legally or illegally. If you don't have a legal status, a conviction might bar you from being eligible to obtain a legal status.

What is an ICE detainer?

An ICE detainer is a petition from Immigration and Customs Enforcement telling the jail to keep you in jail for an extra 48 hours. That 48-hour period is in addition to weekends and federal holidays. This is to give ICE a chance to deport you. If you are told you have an ICE detainer, you have the right to get a copy of it. It is important for you to get legal help immediately to determine your rights. Additionally, you should seek legal help if you are held beyond the 48-hour window.

Should I bail out even if I have an ICE detainer?

You won't be able to leave the jail if you have an ICE detainer. Because of that, you should consider holding off on paying your bail. Consult with an attorney prior to attempting to bail out to ensure that you are making a decision that is in your best interest.

Source: Immigrant Legal Resource Center, "What Happens in Deportation Proceedings? A Guide for Immigrants in the CA Criminal Justice System" accessed Feb. 05, 2015

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