Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
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What is an immigration hold?

An immigration hold, also called an immigration detainer, is when immigration (usually ICE) makes a formal claim to the jail where a person is currently detained to have the right to take a person into custody. 

To decide whether to put an immigration hold on someone, usually an immigration agent, or a Sheriff, will interview all potential immigrants to determine if they could be removed or deported. If the officer thinks that a person could be removed or deported, she or he puts an immigration hold on the person.

This means that when the jail prepares to release a person -- because the person paid a criminal bond OR because the person finished all the jail sentence he or she had to serve -- instead of being set free, the person will be transferred from the criminal jail to the immigration detention.  Once in immigration detention, the person might or might not have the right to see an Immigration Judge.

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