ICE Changes Detainer Policy

by | Dec 21, 2012 | Firm News |

ICE modifies detainer policies

ICE announced a new policy today to reduce the number of foreign nationals detained by immigration authorities after contact with law enforcement.

To be clear- ICE still intends to detain people, just not as many. Also, this policy is separate from other state and local law enforcement efforts described earlier in this blog which may further reduce ICE detentions.

What is a detainer?

When a person is arrested by law enforcement and fingerprinted, the law enforcement agency enters that information into a series of state and federal databases. By itself, this is prudent. It allows law enforcement to confirm the identity of the person arrested, and ensures that that they do not have outstanding warrants from other incidents.

One of the agencies notified after an arrest is Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If someone arrested is a foreign national subject to removal proceedings, ICE, usually as part of a program called “Secure Communities”, can issue a “detainer” to the law enforcement agency. The detainer is a request for the law enforcement agency to hold the foreign national for 48 hours so that ICE can apprehend him or her. Though California counties are now reviewing whether to honor these requests, currently most local law enforcement agencies will comply with ICE detainers.

A major problem, however, is that while “Secure Communities” was supposed to apprehend foreign nationals who were a threat to society, the program resulted in the detention of many people who were not a danger. For example, people who had charges dismissed after an arrest, or who were convicted of very minor offenses, were often subject to ICE detainers if they were removable for status violations.

Once ICE apprehends foreign nationals on detainers, they are nearly always placed in removal proceedings unless the officials determine the person is not actually removable. Further, ICE places a large number of people on detainers in ICE custody, effectively extending their jail sentences for several weeks or even months. ICE also often holds people far away from where they live, making it very hard for family members or lawyers to see them.

New policy

Under the old policy, ICE issued detainers for nearly everyone who was removable. With the new policy, ICE has indicated that it will generally only issue detainers for foreign nationals who are removable AND present at least one of the following factors:

• the individual has a prior felony conviction or has been charged with a felony offense;

• the individual has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions, not including traffic violations.

• the individual has a prior misdemeanor conviction or has been charged with a misdemeanor offense if the misdemeanor conviction or pending charge involves-

• violence, threats, or assault;

• sexual abuse or exploitation;

• driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;

• unlawful flight from the scene of an accident;

• unlawful possession or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon;

• the distribution or trafficking of a controlled substance; or of other significant threat to public safety;

• the individual has been convicted of illegal entry pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1325;

• the individual has illegally re-entered the country after a previous removal or return;

• the individual has an outstanding order of removal;

• the individual has been found by an immigration officer or an immigration judge to have knowingly committed immigration fraud; or

• the individual otherwise poses a significant risk to national security, border security, or public safety.


This policy and changes by California law enforcement have the potential to greatly reduce the number of people detained by immigration authorities after an arrest. Nonetheless, the true effect of these policies will only be clear as they are implemented.

Further, even under these policies, foreign nationals who are arrested by law enforcement may still be detained, and even seemingly minor convictions may have very serious immigration consequences. Therefore it is essential that foreign nationals be extremely cautious when confronting criminal problems.

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Big News- Firm Merger and Consolidation to Oakland!

Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor has formed Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

San Francisco Office has Moved to Join Oakland Office

We are thrilled to announce the merger of Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor, two highly respected Bay Area immigration law firms, which took place in April 2021. The new firm, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combines decades of immigration experience in the subfields of family-based immigration, removal defense, asylum, humanitarian visas, and criminal immigration.

Additionally, the former Park & Taylor office in San Francisco has moved to join the Oakland office at 110 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. While the office is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, our staff is still available by phone, email, and text message, and all consultations and client appointments will continue by phone or video. We look forward to physically reopening our expanded and improved Oakland office when it is safe to do so.

Partners Jesse Lloyd and Anita Mukherji, both certified specialists in immigration and nationality law by the California State Bar, lead the firm. Karyn Taylor has joined as Of Counsel, and Angela Bean remains as partner and Anna von Herrmann as Of Counsel. The Park & Taylor staff have brought their two decades of experience to the team.

Please contact us at (510) 433-1900 or with any inquiries.

¡Anuncio importante- Unión y Consolidación de Dos Bufetes! Bean + Lloyd, LLP y Park & Taylor han Formado Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

La oficina de Park & Taylor se ha mudado para unirse a la oficina de Oakland

Estamos emocionados de anunciar la unión entre Bean + Lloyd, LLP y Park & Taylor, dos bufetes de inmigración muy respetados en el Área de la Bahía, lo cual ocurrió en abril del 2021. El bufete nuevo, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combina décadas de experiencia en inmigración familiar, defensa de deportación, asilo, visas humanitarias, e inmigración criminal.

Además, la antigua oficina de Park & Taylor en San Francisco se ha mudado para unirse a la oficina de Oakland en 110 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. Nuestra oficina está temporalmente cerrada al público debido a COVID-19. Nuestro personal seguirá estando disponible por teléfono, correo electrónico y texto. Todas las consultas y citas de clientes, continuarán por teléfono o videollamada. Estamos emocionados para reabrir físicamente nuestra ampliada y mejorada oficina de Oakland cuando sea seguro hacerlo.

Los socios Jesse Lloyd y Anita Mukherji, dos especialistas certificados en ley de inmigración y nacionalidad por la Barra del Estado de California, dirigen el bufete. Karyn Taylor es abogada retirada pero se ha unido al bufete, Angela Bean permanece como socia y Anna von Herrmann sigue siendo parte del bufete. El personal de Park & Taylor ha compartido sus dos décadas de experiencia con el equipo.

Por favor contáctenos al (510) 433-1900 o con sus preguntas.

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