Immigrants may be detained or held prior to deportation. The immigrant detention process can be complicated and sometimes difficult to understand. There are a number of reasons why an immigrant may be detained. It is important to understand your rights if you are detained, and what to expect if you or a family member have been detained. Detainment is done through ICE, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Reasons for Detention

Detainment is done as a step towards possible deportation. The detainee’s case will be heard in front of a judge in immigration court. Some reasons why someone may be detained include:

  • Criminal Activity
  • Outstanding Deportation Order
  • Are At the Border without a Visa
  • Failed to Attend Immigration Hearing

Immigrants are automatically considered for detainment if they have committed a serious crime or multiple crimes in the United States. Those who have already been ordered to leave the country may be detained for deportation. People who show up at the border without the required visa paperwork will be detained. If you fail to attend a scheduled immigration hearing, the judge may order removal and detention.

Deportation Officer

Every person who is detained is assigned a deportation officer. The role of the officer is to assist in the process of detention. The officer may offer a detainee a voluntary removal, or a removal with some stipulations. Other options may be available, depending on your particular situation. It is best to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before accepting any type of offer, because there are many consequences of which you may not be aware. Your attorney will review your case and provide you with information that will help you make the best decision possible in your case.

Getting Out of Detention

It may be possible for some people to qualify for bond. Similar to bond in criminal court, an immigrant who qualifies may be allowed to post a specific amount of money in order to be allowed to leave until the court hearing. Not everyone is eligible for bond. If you are eligible, you may post the required bond to guarantee that you will attend the next proceedings. Your attorney will help you decide how to handle bond, and if bond is set too high, your attorney will request a bond hearing to try to get it reduced. After the bond hearing, the court will set a date for a master calendar hearing to determine your ultimate status. This can take weeks, or even months in some cases. Contact an immigration attorney to assist you through the process and help you make important decisions.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Immigrant Detention Process, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.