Stewart A. McMillan, Esq.

Immigration Holds

New clients will often call our White Plains and Manhattan criminal defense lawyers with questions regarding why their loved one is being held in jail without bail after they were arrested for a relatively minor crime.

Our New York, White Plains and Stamford criminal defense lawyers most frequently see this situation arise when a person has been arrested for DWI or domestic violence.

Typically, the reason the person is being held is for an immigration related issue separate and apart from the criminal case. However, that issue is almost never explained clearly to the person’s friends and relatives in the court room.

Our New York and Westchester County criminal defense attorneys will tell you that if there is a potential immigration issue it’s important to speak with an experienced New York or Connecticut criminal defense attorney at the arraignment (which is the very first court appearance).

It is very important to have a lawyer at the arraignment, even if it’s a minor case, if immigration issues may be present.

This is true because immigration and customs enforcement (or “ICE”) does not get notified about a person’s immigration status until after the person has been transported to the jail on a criminal charge.

That means that if our New York and Connecticut criminal defense lawyers can successfully persuade a judge to set a reasonable bail for our client, the client can be released on bail at the courthouse and ICE then never finds out about the person’s immigration status.

Although bail on the criminal case is usually easily obtained, and can be obtained even after the person has already been incarcerated, if ICE is notified, the client must still go through a second bail proceeding in immigration court.

Our New York and White Plains criminal defense attorneys have found immigration courts very reluctant to grant bail, particularly since Donald Trump was elected President.

Before Donald Trump became President, ICE was often not even notified about a person’s immigration status until several days, weeks or even months after the person was incarcerated.

Since Trump became President, however, our New York, Fairfield and Westchester County criminal defense attorneys are frequently seeing ICE holds imposed almost immediately after the person arrives at jail following a bail hearing.

Since Trump became President, an additional 11,000 ICE holds have been issued every month. This is a 78% increase from the ICE holds issued under President Obama.

Our Manhattan, White Plains and Stamford criminal defense lawyers have seen the ICE holds occur most quickly in large facilities, like the Bridgeport Correctional Center in Connecticut as well as the county jail at Valhalla in Westchester County, and, of course, Riker’s Island.

However, since Trump took office, more and more frequently our criminal defense attorneys in Larchmont (and the other small jurisdictions in which we appear) are seeing even the lowest level local sheriffs notifying immigration and customs enforcement agents almost immediately after the person arrives at their facility.

Accordingly, if you or someone you know has been detained on an immigration hold, do not hesitate to contact our Westchester and New York criminal defense lawyers immediately. The telephone call is absolutely free and our attorneys are standing by 24/7 to answer any and all questions you may have.

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