My Family Member has been by Immigration Authorities. What should I do?

150 150 Marisol Mancera

My Family Member has been by Immigration Authorities. What should I do?

It is quite common to hear cases of a close family member being detained by the immigration authorities in the United States. Such situations are usually very challenging and emotionally overwhelming. Things get even tougher if you do not know what to do and how to deal with the immigration officials.

We highlight the possible courses of action to take in the event that you find yourself in such a situation.

Locate your family member

The first thing to do is locate where your family member has been detained. There are various ways to go about this. You can use the Immigration and Custom Enforcement website for detainee location. The website will require that you provide the detainee’s date of birth or Alien Number, their full name as they provided to the immigration authorities and their country of origin. Do not provide more information besides these and what your relationship with the detainee is. In the event that they were arrested by police officers, you can inquire from local jails where the person in the area they were at.

Do not provide any information to the immigration officials. Call an attorney instead.

One of the biggest mistakes one can do is to fall into the trap of giving immigration officials all the information they ask for. You may end up providing them with information that may lead to your loved on the deportation list. To help the detainee, contact an immigration attorney instead and have them hear the detainee’s case and provide legal assistance. When it comes to immigration cases, detainees are not usually granted a right to get their own lawyers. As such, ensuring that an attorney steps in to help you with the situation can go a long way in ensuring that your loved one is treated well and freed.

Get them medical care if they are in need of the same

If your loved one has a medical condition that requires regular care and attention, have the same provided to them immediately. You can ask the ICE officials to provide your loved one with the medical care as they are obliged to do that. In the event that the authorities fail to offer the medical treatment, you can have your attorney take up the task of ensuring that the rights of your detained loved one to medication are not violated.

Know the offers the Immigration and Customs Enforcement present and review them

Once a person has been detained by the ICE, a deportation officer will be assigned to them to handle their case. They usually present the detainees with offers that would get them out of detention and help them avoid forceful deportation. The options usually are stipulated removal and voluntary departure; both of which require one to leave the United States. When these offers are being made, you should make sure that the immigration attorney is present to offer guidance. Have them review the offers and find ways they can petition the detainee to continue with their stay in the United States. Ensure that your detained loved one does not sign any documents or provide any information without the presence of their immigration attorney.

Explore other relief options

The deportation officer may only present options that would require the detained person to leave the United States. Having an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in handling such cases can come in handy in helping you explore the other possible alternatives for relief. Other options that may be worth pursuing include seeking asylum, getting Temporary Protected Status, withholding of Removal and Cancellation of Removal, among others.

Know whether or not your detained loved one is eligible for a bond

The thought of being detained and your freedom being limited can be really tough to bear, especially if it is your loved one who is detained. Sometimes it may be possible for your loved one to be set free upon payment of a bond. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the detention, the detainee may be eligible for a bond. It is also possible to have the bond amount reduced by an Immigration Judge if your immigration attorney thinks it is way too high.

Always communicate with your detained loved one

Being in custody in a country that is not your home can be a little difficult on a person’s emotions and will to live. The fact that these cases can take weeks, months or even several years for them to be completely resolved makes things even tougher. It is, therefore, important to ensure that your detained loved one does not go through the ordeal alone. Always communicate with them and ensure that you provide them with all the support they may require to help them cope through the difficult period.


Detention is one of the most frustrating experiences one can go through. In case your family member happens to find themselves in such a situation, make a point of ensuring that you locate them as soon as possible and have them receive both legal and emotional support throughout that period.