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Can immigration officials detain me if I’m in jail?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Immigration & Naturalization |

Being arrested for a crime in Oregon has can have serious consequences for immigrants. Along with any criminal penalties associated with the crime, an arrest or conviction could potentially impact immigration status.

The law is complex when it comes to determining the immigration consequences for certain crimes. Immigration authorities can enter jails or prisons to question inmates about their immigration status and find out if they have a right to deport them.

Your rights while incarcerated

If you are arrested for a crime and sent to jail, you should not say anything to the police or immigration authorities until you learn your risk of being deported. Remember that you have the right to remain silent and exercise that right. You do not need to tell them your immigration status.

You also have a right to receive calls or visits from your consulate while you are in jail. You should not be denied a request to call your Consul and request help or advice. This right applies to your family and attorney, as well.

The 48-hour detainer period

Once you are released from jail from your criminal charge, immigration authorities can request that you remain in custody for an additional 48 hours. This time limit does not include weekends and holidays.

The purpose of these detainer requests is to give immigration officials time to arrest you and begin deportation proceedings.

It is important to know that these detained requests are not the same as an arrest warrant, meaning there might be no legal right to keep you there.

Don’t risk a deportation

Additionally, if you are held by immigration for more than 48 hours after your scheduled release date from jail or prison, there is a good chance your rights are being violated.

Overall, you likely have more rights than you realize if you are charged with a criminal offense as an immigrant. Immigration officials sometimes count on immigrants not knowing their rights and use that to develop grounds for deportation. Do not let that happen to you.