There are any number of issues that may lead to immigrants in Florida or beyond being placed in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. What happens after a person is taken into custody depends on how adjudication in a specific case unfolds. In a recent ruling, a federal judge has prompted changes in U.S. immigration law that will drastically expedite the legal process of those who are detained.
In fact, the judge has ruled that an immigrant being held in ICE custody must appear before a judge for a hearing within 10 days of being detained. This is one day shy of the average amount of time it took for a detained immigrant to be granted a hearing in 2014. However, since that time, many immigrants have been made to wait several months for their day in court.
The judge ruled that while an immigrant does not necessarily have a right to be released while removal proceedings are pending, neither does the U.S. government have a right to detain a person indefinitely in such circumstances. Her ruling recognizes that people have a fundamental right to due process of law and swift access to an immigration judge when being held in a U.S. immigration detention facility. One man recalled that ICE officers told him he would be home for supper the day they took him into custody, but he wound up not being granted a hearing for six weeks, which caused him to miss his son’s birthday.
Civil rights advocates say that many people who are held in detention when they should be eligible for release are, in fact, U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. There have been class action lawsuits filed in federal court regarding such issues. Any Florida immigrant who believes his or her rights are being violated in connection with legal status issues or removal proceedings may reach out for additional support by requesting a meeting with an experienced immigration law attorney.