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September 28, 2013

California To Put A Stop To ICE Detainers In Local Jails, Will New York Follow

By Michael H. Joseph

An arrest for an undocumented immigrant can be an life changing experience. For the last several years, local jails and Federal Immigration authorities have cooperated and screened virtually every individual to ascertain their immigration status. One day an undocumented immigrant leaves their family to go to work and if they get arrested for even a minor traffic infraction, they can end up in the local jail. Then, the local jail notifies ICE and they have an ICE detainer which means that they will sit in jail until their criminal case is resolved, then they go into federal immigration custody and face deportation charges.

Our Westchester criminal defense lawyers are acutely aware of this problem and have represented countless undocumented immigrants from the immigrant heavy towns of Port Chester, Mamaroneck, White Plains, Ossining, Yonkers, Mt Vernon and New Rochelle. Our New York trial attorneys know the importance of keeping undocumented immigrants out of the local jails.

Immigration advocates in California have won a major battle preventing this manifestly unfair situation. This California passed the Trust Act, which blocks local police from holding suspects for immigration agents when they would otherwise be free to be released. It is doubtful that New York will follow suit, given the political views of the majority of New Yorkers. However, until a more enlightened time comes and immigration reform is finally passed, our White Plains criminal defense lawyers will continue to fight to keep our criminal clients from getting deported by aggressively fighting bail applications to keep our clients from going to the Westchester County jail, by resolving cases with deals to give our clients the best chance to beat a deportation case and by working closely with of counsel deportation attorneys.

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