Detained Immigrant Help

Prepare and Respond

If you are at risk for deportation, you should make arrangements in case you are picked up by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Do this as soon as possible. You need to prepare to defend yourself in court, as well as living situations for yourself and your family.

If your friend or family member has been picked up by ICE, there are a number of ways you can help them. Most importantly, if your loved one doesn’t already have a good immigration attorney and has been detained by ICE, we can help you find your best options. Catholic Charities Milwaukee offers emergency consults for friends and family members of detained immigrants.

Detained Immigrant Help

Prepare and Respond

If you are at risk for deportation, you should make arrangements in case you are picked up by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Do this as soon as possible. You need to prepare to defend yourself in court, as well as living situations for yourself and your family.

If your friend or family member has been picked up by ICE, there are a number of ways you can help them. Most importantly, if your loved one doesn’t already have a good immigration attorney and has been detained by ICE, we can help you find your best options. Catholic Charities Milwaukee offers emergency consults for friends and family members of detained immigrants.

Background Image: Shawl, China

Detention Preparedness

You have a much higher risk of detention if you have a criminal record or have previously been deported. In addition to finding a good lawyer, there are ways to prepare yourself in case you are detained so that you are better equipped to defend yourself and support your family in your absence. Learn More

Finding Detained Immigrants

If your friend or family member is picked up by ICE, no one will be notified. You will have to call the detention centers in your area to find them. Each detention center has its own procedures for contacting, visiting, and sending money to detainees. We have a list of immigrant detention centers in the Catholic Charities Milwaukee service area, along with their contact information. Learn More

Also, if your loved one is detained, they may be trying to call you. Keep your cell phone nearby with the ringer on.

Deportation Process

The events outlined in this blog post represent the typical timeline for the detention and deportation process. Some, or all of these scenarios could apply to you if you are (1) picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); or (2) if your case is referred to the immigration court. The only two ways to leave ICE custody are through a bond or winning your deportation case in court. Learn More

Detained Immigrant Bond

If your friend or family member is detained, it is very likely they will want to get a bond instead of bail. The differences between bail and a bond are critically important, and an experienced immigration attorney can help you navigate the process. Learn More

Deportation Defense

If your detained loved one has been ordered to a removal, or deportation hearing, you need an immigration attorney to help you in court. The most common form of deportation defense is called cancellation of removal, but your requirements to qualify will depend on your status in the United States:

If you are a non-lawful permanent resident, or a non-green card holder, you will have to gather a defense to show, among other things, that you are a person of good moral character. Learn More

If you are in deportation as a green card holder, or lawful permanent resident, you must prove that you have been in the country for a certain period of time. Learn More

Find a Good Lawyer

Start Looking Right Now

If you know that you are at risk of being arrested by Immigration, you need to find an attorney as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are arrested. It is much more challenging to search for a good immigration attorney and make arrangements after you are detained. You will want plenty of time to make arrangements before any potential arrest, and an experienced immigration attorney can help you.

Additional Resources

Family Based Green Card

Family based immigration helps unite families who want to be together. However, not all relatives are able to apply for one another. Before you attempt to petition for a family member, it is important to understand if you can petition through the Immediate Family Member of a U.S. Citizen or if you must use the Priority System. Read More about “Family Based Green Card”

VAWA Cancellation of Removal

The cancellation of removal for immigrant victims of domestic violence is often called VAWA cancellation. VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) cancellation is available to both men and women. If you qualify for this special deportation defense, Immigration will overlook certain aspects of your case that would otherwise prevent you from obtaining a green card. For example, you do not have to be in the United States for as long as other green card or cancellation of removal applicants. Read More about “VAWA Cancellation of Removal”