What is an Immigration Detainer?

There is a lot of talk about detainers lately….  Here is  some information


What are immigration detainers?

Immigration detainers instruct police to continue to detain individuals after the local police’s authority has expired until DHS officers arrive to take the individuals into physical custody. Under the Secure Communities program, when local police make an arrest, they are compelled to send fingerprint information to a federal immigration database, which frequently triggers detainer requests. Detainers have become an important immigration enforcement tool for the Obama administration, allowing DHS to vastly increase deportations while passing the cost on to local law enforcement agencies. DHS issues over 250,000 immigration detainers each year and is the lynchpin of ICE’s enforcement strategy.

The 287(g) program, one of ICE’s top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).  The state or local entity receives delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.


An Immigration Request Is Not an Order

  •  Federal courts have confirmed that an ICE Detainer Request is completely optional. In one case, Galarza v. Szalczyk, the opinion states, “… 8 C.R.F. § 287.7 does not compel state or local LEAs to detain suspected aliens subject to removal pending release to immigration officials.  Section 287.7 merely authorizes the issuance of detainers as requests to local LEAs.”) Two other federal cases saying the same thing are Maria Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County and Morales v. Chadbourne.
  • The federal detainer regulation itself specifically and repeatedly provides that an ICE detainer is a request. The regulation, 8 C.F.R. § 287.7, provides:  “The detainer is a request…” Although the word “shall” appears in one of the regulation’s subsection, that section addresses the maximum duration of the detention, not whether a local jail official must detain a person. The court opinion clearly states: “The words ‘shall maintain custody,’ in the context of the regulation as a whole, appear next to the use of the word ‘request’ throughout the regulation. . . . [I]t is hard to read the use of the word ‘shall’ in the timing section to change the nature of the entire regulation.”

More than 200 local jurisdictions nationwide have stopped holding people on ICE detainers entirely.

The federal government cannot compel local law enforcement to detain anyone on its behalf.

  •  In Printz v. United States and other cases, the Supreme Court has found that, under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal government is not allowed to command state officers to do federal business.
  • Current acting director of ICE, Dan Ragsdale, has also acknowledged that detainers are requests.  In the past, both ICE Director John Morton and then-Assistant Director of Secure Communities David Venturella also have made the non-mandatory nature of ICE Detainer Requests clear in policy memos and other public documents.

Make your Voice Heard on President Trump’s Immigration Executive Orders

Want to participate in a “virtual march” on social media to register opposition to these executive orders? Here’s what you can do: Tweet photos of yourself at @POTUS using the hashtag #SolidaritySelfie!

Here’s how to make a #SolidaritySelfie:

Write a short note on a piece of paper – something like “Refugees Welcome,” “Here to Stay” or “I stand with immigrants”

Take a picture of yourself with the paper

Tweet the photo of yourself, along with a note, at @POTUS (and at your Member of Congress). Make sure to include the hashtag #SolidaritySelfie!

Larger Ladders and deeper Tunnels ?

Donald Trump’s most consistent campaign promise — to build a wall on the United States’ southern border to keep immigrants out — will be a waste of time and money, the former head of the Customs and Border Protection agency told ABC News in a final warning just days before leaving office.

“I think that anyone who’s been familiar with the southwest border and the terrain…kind of recognizes that building a wall along the entire southwest border is probably not going to work,” Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of CBP during the Obama Administration, said shortly before leaving office last Friday.


US Embassy in Chennai, India cancels all visa appointments

The US Embassy in Chennai  India has temporaryly suspended all visa appointment. They should resume Nov 8, 2016.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s precarious health has left Chennai anxious. The state’s director general of police asked Chennai’s police teams to be ready to patrol the streets on Monday in full uniform. Paramilitary forces are on standby, and extra security has been rushed to both the hospital, outside of which supporters have gathered, and the chief minister’s residence.

Apprehensive of the situation getting worse, people were seen thronging at shops and petrol pumps to stock up food and supplies for the rest of the week. However, fearing any violence, almost all shops, hotels, medical shops and pumps pulled down their shutters.

Buses to Chennai have come to a standstill. However, local buses and autos are ensuring access to the city for the public. Schools and IT companies such as Tidel Park and Olympia Tech Park sent their employees home much earlier than usual.

However, there have been no reports of violence so far in the city and with police deployed in full force throughout Chennai, including sensitive regions, there is a sense of calm among the people.

Situation is similar in neighbouring districts of Vellore, Madurai and others where shopkeepers downed shutters and people scurried home.


Election 2016 Aftermath :

A Message from the head of the American Immigration Lawyers Association


A New Challenge for AILA and the Communities We Serve


We woke up this morning to the news most of us did not expect and many of our clients feared: after one of the most divisive campaigns in modern history that included statements maligning immigrants from Mexico and scapegoating Muslim-Americans, a call for mass deportations and the end of DACA, and a speech in Arizona presenting a wish list of restrictionist policy proposals, Donald Trump has won the election and will become the 45th president of the United States.

All of us are facing calls from anxious clients: from DACA recipients whose hopes for a life with legal status for themselves and their families in the United States appear to be dimming, from relatives who fear their family members may be removed or forever barred from coming, from business leaders who are less confident that America’s immigration system will support economic growth, and from employees on work visas who fear losing all they have built in the United States.  We must remember that whatever personal anxieties we may have about what the next few years will bring are dwarfed by the fears and anxieties of our clients and the immigrant population.

For more than 70 years, AILA members have stood alongside our clients, helping them realize the American dream. We are their advocates and their voice, helping them through the tough times.  We have been here before: in the McCarthy era, when even a whisper of sympathy to the Communist cause could derail an immigrant’s life in the United States; in 1996 and the years that followed, when the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act wreaked havoc on our nation with severe penalties that had retroactive effect, and jurisdiction stripping provisions that severely curtailed federal court review; and in the dark days after September 11, when we found ourselves up against unexplained adjudication delays, detention without due process, and trials based on secret evidence.  Through it all, AILA members have worked tirelessly to secure fairness and justice for those in immigration proceedings of every kind.  And this time is no different. AILA will continue to fight for a just and fair system using every tool at our disposal.


It is important to remember, as we look forward to an uncertain future, that we have invaluable and unlimited resources at our disposal: the talents, ingenuity, passion, legal acumen, and persistence of our fellow AILA members. Looking forward, we must continue to support one another as we always have, by coming together for inspiration, to share war stories, and to take every opportunity that we can find to advocate for fair and just treatment for immigrants. Together we must carry this message of unity and perseverance to the immigration agencies, to Congress, and to the courts.

We look forward to meeting these challenges together with all of you.

Go Vote! Exercise your Right !

Many have fought and does for the Right to vote all over the world. In this country, we take this right for granted. We should not. It is the most important right we have. Although our choice  in this election s likely a vote for the lesser of two evils, it is incumbent on us all to participate and let our voices be heard . In our immigration business one candidate wants to “build a wall”, the other is nor ” amnesty”. Either way, the immigration system/  problem in this country needs reform and needs to be fixed.



Border Walls? Trump Wall ? Wall with Mexico?

Walls? Who Needs Walls?

(Paraphrased from the movie “Back to the Future II”)


With Canada due, on December 1, 2016, to admit any citizen of Mexico without a visa …..what good is a wall across the southern border of the US?


An article by Stuart Anderson in the Wall Street Journal dated September 12, 2016 says that Canada will begin to admit citizens of Mexico without obtaining a visa. Just fill in the form online and go to Canada.

Once in Canada if such person wants to enter the US without a visa there is nearly 4000-mile-long US Canadian border which is very porous. How would the proposed southern US wall stop this scenario?

Trump Wall
Trump Wall

The idea of the proposed wall on the southern US border is to stop people who do not have a visa from entering the US without permission. However, even if such a wall is actually built there never was a wall where a ladder can’t be built to scale such wall, i. E., if you build a 10-foot-high wall someone will simply get an 11-foot-high ladder!

Never-the-less, such people, at least those born in Mexico who seek to enter the US without a visa, will have a second way to do so and a much longer border to do it, one that is sparsely guarded.

Also, interestingly, now Mexico wants to build a wall on their own southern border to keep out people entering southern Mexico without a visa from Central America. Mexico has not said who will pay for such a wall.